ASKI Foundation, Inc.
Plantitos and plantitas for a cause
When COVID-19 came and people took refuge in their homes to avoid the virus, many found themselves developing a green thumb to pass the time and beat boredom. Others, however, used the time to champion the 3 Ps: people, planet, and profit.
One of them is ASKI Foundation, Inc., the corporate social responsibility arm of the ASKI Group of Companies, Inc. The Foundation develops and implements various community projects on education, health, environment, community development services, and spiritual transformation to promote socio-economic development through client-focused financial and non-financial services anchored on Christian principles.
Beyond jumping into the bandwagon of “plantitos” and “plantitas,” the ASKI Foundation aims to promote environmental conservation through tree-planting activities integrated with community-managed nurseries as means for additional source of income for the members.
“Changing climatic conditions poses a great threat to the already vulnerable food production and livelihood, not only of the ASKI clients, but all people whose major source of income heavily relies on agriculture and related businesses,” the Foundation said. “The project was designed as a long-term effort since climate change is a universal concern.”
The project targets planting 1,000 trees each year in 15 areas nationwide where ASKI operates, or a total of 15,000 trees planted for a period of five years. To date, ASKI Foundation and its volunteer communities have already planted nearly 3,000 trees.
The Foundation also received assistance from its developments partners such as the Bureau of Plan Industry, the Office of Congresswoman Loren Legarda, the Nueva Ecija Seed Center, the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office, and the Children of Men at Work Program beneficiaries. All in-kind and monetary donations were valued at P191,000.
“The pandemic has shown us the importance of recognizing the essence of cooperation among the people within the organization, stakeholders, community, and the people we serve. We have also seen how NGOs play a crucial role in helping the government in responding to the pandemic. This could be an opportunity for many associations to strengthen and widen its network among organization that shares the same vision,” it said.
This early, the tree-planting program has already been gaining recognition from prestigious award-giving bodies. In 2019, ASKI became one of the finalists in the 10th European Microfinance Award on “Strengthening Resilience to Climate Change.” And for the second year in a row, the Foundation has won the Environment Category of the ANG SUSI Awards, the first and only search for the best associations and association executives in the Philippines which recognizes the association sector’s contributions to national sustainable development. The award was bestowed by the Philippine Council of Associations and Association Executives (PCAAE), the “association of associations” in the country.