Seven decades of impact and counting

Today, we work towards an equitable world by helping farmers improve their lives by growing healthy food, starting with good seeds. But before becoming SeedChange, we spent 75 years “helping people help themselves” as one of Canada’s first and oldest international development agencies. 

At our core, we’ve always been a non-profit organization rooted in the notions of human dignity, social justice and equity.

Our evolution over the years

We have grown and adapted since our early days, but we’ve kept our focus on building a better world with you. Plus, we’re still at 56 Sparks Street, Ottawa.

A humanitarian focus:

Dr. Lotta mobilizes thousands of Canadians to send food, clothes, supplies and money abroad in the wake of World War II.

An evolving mission:

Famine and civil war in Ethiopia bring the power of seeds and farming to our attention. Our Seeds of Survival approach is born.

A focus on farmers:

Working with farmers to grow healthy food using good seeds and sustainable practices becomes our sole mission in 2007. In 2013, we extend our work to farmers in Canada

Our founder, Dr. Lotta Hitschmanova

If you lived in Canada during the 1950s, 60s and 70s, you likely remember Dr. Lotta’s famous public service announcements on the radio and television.

Before becoming one of Canada’s leading humanitarians, Dr. Lotta was a young journalist in her home country of Czechoslovakia. The ravages of World War II forced her to flee, first to France, then to Canada. 

Guided by her vision of making the world “a better, kinder place,” Dr. Lotta inspired thousands of Canadians to help her seed change around the world.

Read about Lotta’s life

Generations of generosity

Few organizations are lucky enough to stay relevant, vibrant and impactful for more than 75 years. Thanks to thousands of generous donors and volunteers and their unwavering commitment, we’re still seeding change. 

As we welcome the vision and enthusiasm of new generations of supporters, we remember the earlier generations whose contributions made today possible.

View some of our fondest memories

Who was the public face of our work when you first encountered us?

Lotta Histchmanova’s unmistakable voice helped shape Canadian attitudes towards international solidarity. Thanks to her public service announcements, “USC Canada” became a household name for generations of Canadians. Hear her voice once more as well as those of the many dedicated champions who followed in her footsteps.