To our global Seeds family,
Leaders around the world have labeled 2020 “The Year of the Pivot”, and that moniker certainly holds true for us at Seeds of Africa. The events of 2020 required Seeds to pivot our operations and programs to meet the critical needs of our students and community. Among the many restructured program successes, we supported 300 families with PPE and vital food supplies; created a low-tech virtual education system during lockdown; forgave small business micro-loan debt for the mothers in that program; kept our Ethiopia staff employed at full salary; upgraded our campus water infrastructure, and safely reopened the Seeds of Africa school for the 2020-2021 year. Rallying around our shared vision, the Seeds staff, board, and community all came together to help see us through this extremely trying time.
Having successfully met the challenges of 2020, we look towards 2021 as a year of transition. As part of that transition, the Seeds Board of Directors and staff have implemented a reorganization plan designed to streamline operations for greater efficiency and financial flexibility. Notably, this reorganization includes our Founder, Atti Worku, stepping away from day-to-day management as CEO and continuing to serve on the Seeds Board of Directors. As CEO, Atti has been a fierce and formidable leader whose decade-long vision created a community beacon in Ethiopia. Her passionate advocacy has amplified our work across the world. We celebrate the impact she has made and will continue to make at Seeds, and congratulate her on her new role, fighting for equity in philanthropy as the Co-CEO of the African Visionary Fund.
Looking ahead, we congratulate long-time team members Bereket Yirgu and Jazmil Genao as they assume enhanced leadership responsibilities in April 2021. Building on their proven management success navigating Seeds through the challenges of the past year, they will be collaborating to lead Seeds and both will report directly to the Board of Directors.
Bereket Yirgu will continue his role as the Country Director of Seeds of Africa Ethiopia, where he has led our dynamic team on the ground with passion and undeniable skill since 2016. Bereket holds an MA in Leadership, a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA), and is also a Certified Project Manager. In his expanded role, he will focus his work on local fundraising, program expansion, and starting new programs.
Jazmil Genao, who holds an MS in Global Affairs from NYU, will take on the role of Assistant Director. Jazmil joined Seeds in 2016, and has grown steadily as an Intern, an Associate, and a Manager with a gift for administration. In this role, she will take on more leadership and operational responsibilities, collaborating with Bereket to redesign and monitor our programs to remain community-centered and cutting edge.
In over a decade, Seeds of Africa has evolved to fit the needs of the community we serve, transforming the trajectories of success for over 2,000 people. Our 2021 goals reflect our core values of innovation and adaptability. We have updated our academic and economic development programs to support their growth while meeting today’s challenges.
As a board, we are committed to Seeds of Africa’s long-term success in empowering the African vision. We are determined to further contribute to a future where a lack of access to education and financial resources are no longer barriers to personal growth and community prosperity. Thank you for your continued collaboration and support. Please join us in congratulating Atti, Bereket and Jazmil in their new positions.
The Seeds of Africa Board of Directors
Stephanie Bond, Head of Customer Experience at Kidde
Deirdre Gaughan, Senior Vice President at ImpactWayv
Sarah Simmons, Board of Directors at Simmons Foods
Milton Speid, Community Manager at The ImPact
Anthony Worku, Founder and CEO at BeeZ Social ERP
Atti Worku, Founder at Seeds of Africa, Co-CEO at African Visionary Fund