Seeking Support for Worthy African Participants to Attend PDC and Internship in Konso, Ethiopia in April-May 2013
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Courses/Workshops, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Village Development — by Alex McCausland March 11, 2013
Editor’s Note: As many of you know, we (the PRI) seek to spread permaculture take-up to all people everywhere, but a main focus, as we are able to finance it, is to help establish and support self-replicating permaculture demonstration/education sites in some of the world’s neediest regions. Many of you will have followed Alex’s noble and determined/persistent efforts in Ethiopia (see Alex’s author profile), and I trust you’ll see that he, his team, and the valuable work they are undertaking is more than deserving of our support and encouragement. I have personally worked hard to build traffic on this site over the last several year for the very purpose of being able to focus more eyeballs on worthy projects such as this. I sincerely hope you’ll take the time to read this post, and assist if you can. And, if you’re not in a position to help financially right now, then please at least take the time to share this page with your contacts via email, Facebook, etc. Thanks in advance to you all for your continued support!
Greetings to all of you Permaculturists out there. This is coming from Konso, south Ethiopia where we were able to establish our Strawberry Fields Eco Lodge (SFEL) permaculture demonstration site as a PRI Master Plan satellite site in January. As a PRI site we run trainings for international students, whose fees help us fund local students (i.e. students from Konso to get onto the courses we run — we mostly work with school teachers and students to start and mobilise our schools project sites) to take the training alongside the internationals themselves. We are running a PDC-Internship Combo this spring and have been promoting it here and elsewhere with updates on our work in Konso. However, much of the interest in taking these courses at the moment is coming from students elsewhere in Africa (e.g. Sudan, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Tanzania, etc.) where people are not exactly swimming in spare cash either. Hence we are looking for support to offer scholarships to help these African students attend our program. For each international (African) student that attends, another local Ethiopian student will be able to take the training, working towards the development of our local community outreach program — the Permaculture In Konso Schools Project — so you would be helping two people that need funding to get PDC certified. If anybody out there has the resources and the big heart to help us in this endeavour then their reward is in the good thing that they do. Please see more info on the PDC and internship programs here and here, respectively.
Applicants seeking Support to attend the April/May PDC-Internship are:
Linda Kabira from Zimbabwe:
I am a service-focused, result oriented development worker with 13 years’ experience working with people from various backgrounds at both implementation and middle managerial level in the agricultural management, environmental management sectors mainstreaming, gender, HIV and AIDS and ecological rights for children. I strive to be a facilitator for the change the developing world seeks to achieve with the endeavor to preserve, affect and influence development through capacity-building of young people and women. I am a graduate forester, environmentalist with a BSC (Hons) Geography & Environmental Studies, Diploma in Forestry (Zimbabwe College of Forestry), a Certificate in Practical Monitoring and Evaluation (University of Zimbabwe), Ecovillage Design Education (EDE, South Africa), and Diploma in Training Management (Institute of Personnel Management of Zimbabwe).
I am currently working with the Zimbabwe Institute of Permaculture (ZIP) and the Schools and Colleges Permaculture Program (SCOPE) as the national coordinator. My role involves overall management of the implementation of the Permaculture activities in schools and colleges in Zimbabwe, offering education in regenerative design principles to facilitate re-skilling, self-reliance, food security and independence, bringing whole system thinking into the classroom to foster a future shaped by resilient and sustainable practices. The SCOPE program helps communities, through schools and colleges to build resilience at personal, household and national levels in the face of peak oil, climate change, land degradation, biodiversity loss and economic volatility. This is done through curriculum development influence and practical demonstrations of Permaculture, ethics and principles using a well-developed step by step integrated land use design (ILUD) tool working in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and other partners.
Attending the PDC in Konso would be ideal in enhancing my skills in delivery of my work in Zimbabwean schools and colleges, it will also allow for learning of new skills through sharing and networking with other participants. I facilitate Permaculture and integrated land use design but have not been exposed to a full 72hour PDC which is a real dream for me. I am passionate about nature and the environmental work I do.
Sabri El Tayib from Sudan:
My name is Sabri El Tayeb and I am from Omdurman, Sudan. I come from a people who are originally shepherds who live in the open desert. I, however, was born and raised in the city. In the past, most of our people were attached to the land and lived in a natural way. But, during many years of British colonization, the Sudanese people were taught and adopted British ways of living. This included an ever-increasing concrete life and industrialized methods of growing food and raising animals. The effects it has had on our society are no less than devastating.
Sudan is one of ten countries that depend on the Nile as a source of life; from drinking water to agriculture. What we do on the land effects millions of lives. Western methods have used up a great deal of the Nile. In addition to foreign methods being used, our local farmers combined with our government are selling our land to other nations in order to secure their ways of life. Quoting from Permaculture News Website:
“South Korea, which imports 70 percent of its grain, has acquired 1.7 million acres in Sudan to grow wheat — an area twice the size of Rhode Island.”
This is absolutely devastating. None of this grain will go to any of the people of the Nile Valley. Our neighbours in Egypt are one of the highest importers of wheat but with astonishing actions like the one mentioned above, the Egyptians could not turn to us for help and we are their Nile Brothers. They depend on the Nile even more than we do in Sudan, and today as it stands, by the time the Nile runs into the Mediterranean Sea, there is almost nothing left of it.
If I was given the opportunity to take this PDC class, I would use my knowledge to educate farmers and government officials in my country to use different methods for raising animals and growing food. I would work with them hand-and-hand towards self-sufficiency. It is also important to try to help them to understand the importance of holding on to their land and not giving it to foreign investors.
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