It was a highly emotional graduation ceremony as the scholars of Monsanto and Human Nature received their diploma marking the end of their two-year course at Gawad Kalinga’s School for Experiential and Entrepreneurial Development (GK-SEED). The scholars have definitely grown very close not only to each other but also to their mentors as evidenced by the exchange of warm messages accompanied by heartfelt tears indicating a mixture of joy, excitement and sadness as their two-year live-in training ends.
The GK-SEED was launched in 2014 to provide an education-based solution to rural development. It is the country’s first school for social entrepreneurship for the poor which prepares students to create social enterprises with a vision to develop rural areas through rural job and wealth creation. During the two-year program, students take a variety of courses that focus on character development, enterprise management, communications, business math, and agriculture.
The school is also a pilot program that will be replicated to provide quality education to thousands in communities across the Philippines. It aims to raise the next generation of agri-entrepreneurs.
“It is the first school to be training people from the bottom of the pyramid, specifically the young to actually learn business. We teach them to become employers and leaders,” said Mark Lawrence Cruz, Director of GK-SEED Philippines. “Our vision for them is to lead their communities out of poverty.” Cruz underscored that the scholars will not only end poverty for themselves but also for their families, their communities, and our country.
Meantime, Monsanto’s Corporate Affairs Head Charina Ocampo said that “we are humbled and honored to have been given the opportunity to help children from farming families achieve their dreams. We are excited that through GK-SEED, they are now equipped to realize their fullest potential and can help alleviate the lives of not only of their families but also of the other members of their communities.
Monsanto also helped build a two-storey dormitory inside the GK-SEED campus to provide a place for scholars to stay during their two-year course. These scholars come from various parts of the country and as far as the Visayas and Mindanao regions.