Sembrando espacios resilientes y ecologicamente sostenibles
SERES Annual Report 2012
Author: Corrina Grace Position: Executive Director Date: 23rd January 2013
2012 was a great year for SERES and our community, and we met a number of significant milestones for the organization that place us in good standing to achieve the ambitious goals that have been outlined for 2013.
Youth Leaders for the Pachamama
At the beginning of 2012, we launched a new program called Youth Leaders for the Pachamama. The purpose of this new program was to build on our 2011 achievements, furthering our mission to engage, educate and empower people to become leaders of sustainable change. Our goal was to reach more youth and provide additional support and mentoring to program participants. In 2012, a total of 293 youth and young adults passed through our programs – an increase of more than 220% over 2011 figures.
Youth Leading the World
In administrative terms, we have significantly consolidated our position from 2011, taking on additional staff, registering the organization in Guatemala and establishing firm international partnerships that are helping us to achieve our mission and vision. Due to the significant program and organizational growth during 2012, Seres faced challenges in matching financial resources with growth towards the second half of the year. This situation required both staff and Board Members to come together and work hard to help meet our funding needs. The results of this effort were successful and we finished 2012 with a small surplus of funds. The situation however has highlighted the need for a stronger financial strategy and commitment at all levels of the organization, which is one of our key goals for 2013, and we enter this year with a strong business, financial and organizational plan going forward.
• • •
# Congresses: 8 # Participants: 161 # Community Projects: 24
# Participants: 55 # Communities Involved: 13
Australian Leadership Awards Fellowship 2012
# Fellows: 7 # Facilitators: 11
In terms of overall strategy, there has been significant revisiting of SERES’ longterm goals and vision. The Seres Center proposal is a key area for progress this year, with a multi-organizational, cross-cultural working group focused on getting the project launched in 2013. Board member Sherry Miller and Executive Director Corrina Grace are heading up this project. Looking ahead, 2013 is set to be another great year of evolution and opportunity for SERES. As our reputation grows, we are finding more demand for our programs, more prospects for collaboration and a stronger platform from which we can fundraise and apply for grants. It will be a time for us to clearly demonstrate SERES’ offering and we are dedicated to producing consistently high-quality results, and expanding the network of youth leaders and changemakers that we work with both in Central America and further afield.
Annual Report 2012
Photo: Young leaders at SERES’ Youth Leading the World 4-day camp learn about non-violent conflict resolution through play.
One of the major milestones achieved by SERES in 2012 was the legal incorporation of the organization in Guatemala under the name Asociación Seres. The date of incorporation is 8th August, 2012. In addition to being legally incorporated in Guatemala, SERES has established fiscal partnerships that allow us to fundraise in Australia, Canada and the U.S.A. Appendix 2 provides an overview of the streams through which funds are directed to SERES operation’s on-the-ground here in Guatemala. In addition, SERES saw growth in our community of staff and volunteers. The number of full-time employees doubled (from 1 to 2) and SERES hired an accountant to work one-day per month. Thanks to the training provided by the Australian government, the total number of trained facilitators available to assist us in implementing our programs also increased as shown below: • • •
Number full-time employees: 2 Number part-time employees: 1 Number volunteer facilitators: 9 (+ 2 in Columbia)
Photo: Fellows of the Australian Leadership Awards Fellowship in Australian learning to use field water testing equipment.
Achievements SERES’ ran a total of ten programs in 2012: eight 3-day congresses, one 4-day youth leadership camp and one 5-week intensive Fellowship program in Australia. These programs directly benefitted a total of 293 people from 30 different communities. • • •
161 youth and young adults (72 females, 89 males) passed through our Phase 1 leadership program; 55 youth and young adults (28 females, 27 females) passed through our Phase 2 leadership program; 7 young adults (4 females, 3 males) passed through our Phase 3 leadership program;
Photo: Youth Leaders working on one of the Community Action Plans to clean up San Martin Jilotepeque
We conservatively estimate that the indirect benefits of this work are at least 15,000 people, who are impacted by the community action plans implemented by these youth when they return to their communities.
Revenue and Expense Statement While 2012 was a moderately difficult year financially for SERES due, as discussed above, to organizational and program growth, overall there was strong growth in our revenue streams and we finished 2012 with a small surplus which will carry over to projects for 2013. Growth within number of supporters however was limited, as is indicated in the table below (figures in orange represent 2011 statistics). • • • • • •
Photo: Youth Leaders for the Pachamama congress in Guatemala City sponsored by Miracles in Action
No. Grants won: 2 (2) No. Foundations: 2 (5) No. Schools/businesses: 1 (3) No. Donors >$500: 5 (4) No. Donors < $500: 23 (18) No. Monthly Donors: 4 (1)
The 2012 Financial Summary is provided in Appendix 1.
Annual Report 2012
Challenges and Opportunities As with any organization undergoing significant growth, it is a time that always presents significant challenges and opportunities. With the growth that SERES has seen over 2012, there have been two key challenges: meeting workload with available staff and providing adequate follow-up and ongoing support to participants as the youth leaders network continues to grow. The Australian Leadership Fellowship Awards program in Australia that SERES has won in collaboration with OzGREEN for the past two years has provided a fantastic opportunity both for SERES and the young leaders that attend the program. Through this training program, SERES now has access to a large group of local trained facilitators, and from this group we have taken on a new full-time facilitator who joined the team at the beginning of 2013. The group (known as the SERES Collectivo) also provides us with access to volunteer facilitators that can be called on to provide co-facilitation of congresses in both El Salvador and Guatemala. We recognize that this training program is currently dependent on winning the ALAF grant from the Australian government, and so in recognition of the value of this training program we will be looking ahead in 2013 to see what other opportunities exist for providing a similar training program independently of this grant program and/or outside of Australia. Providing continued follow-up and support to program participants is an ongoing challenge for the organization, and is one of the key questions that SERES receives in regards to its programs. Our current commitment is to provide followup every 2 and 6 months, which includes a community visit from one of SERES’ facilitators. While this was the objective in 2012, it was not achieved in all cases (see Program Facilitator’s Annual Report). This was largely due to two factors: the availability of facilitators and the difficulty in communicating with participants due to their isolation and lack of resources in many cases (e.g. no access to internet for email or Facebook and/or no mobile phone reception). This issue is one of the key focus for the SERES facilitators in 2013, starting with a review of procedures at the AGM. One of the major opportunities that has presented itself in 2012 is the way in which SERES’ programs have gained reputation amongst other organizations. This has resulted both in increased revenue from key program partners, and more opportunities for collaboration in the field. It is this collaboration that we hope will provide one of the answers for the challenges outlined above – working with program partners who have a constant presence in a given community and can assist in providing the follow-up and support required for the youth leaders.
Annual Report 2012
Participant Feedback Youth Leading the World
97% of participants rated the value of the camp as “Excellent” 100% of participants rated the value of connecting with other congresses around the world as “very important” 100% of participants rated the value of having local facilitators as “very important” 100% rated the opportunity to connect and develop relationships with other young people in the network as “very important”
“Today I am convinced to be the change…” ~ Congress participant, San Martin Jilotepeque, July 2012 “It was amazing…it changed my life and now I am someone completely different” ~ Congress participant, San Martin Jilotepeque, July 2012 “It was amazing…I learnt how to put fear to one side and act…” ~ Congress participant, Guatemala City, June 2012
APPENDIX 1 â€“ Financial Summary (USD)
SUPPORT & REVENUE
Agriculture and Technology Education and Outreach General Total Support and Revenue
8,811 9,168 37,737 55,717
Salaries Transport Misc. Total Agriculture and Technology
1,575 430 515 4,520
800 2,000 2,607 8,977
Congresses Awards/Prizes Transport Salaries Total Education and Outreach Rent
200 1,261 3,933
1,500 1,000 8,000
9,296 286 1,598 5,085 16,479
15,840 500 3,000 11,300 30,640
Transport Salaries Overheads Asset Acquisition Total General Non-Billable
2,752 1,261 1,717
975 4,100 1,937
661 10,783 4,906
4,180 9,770 2,580 7,690 25,370
EXPENSES AGRICULTURE AND TECHNOLOGY
EDUCATION AND OUTREACH
Total Expenses Net Result
Annual Report 2012