Category: Aid Projects

Design Opportunities at the Edge of Society (South Africa)

With an inspired mind, opportunities for improved design present themselves at every turn. Problems show themselves as challenges for demonstration. In this way, it’s almost as if our world’s most frustrating social and environmental issues become the best canvasses on which to patiently prove the effectiveness of our ideas. Patiently: because the temptation is to become overwhelmed and disillusioned in the face of ample evidence that the world doesn’t value […]

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Permaculture Education in Poverty-Stricken South Africa

Home gardeners are supported by Rocklands Urban Abundance Centre We are SEED, a 12 year old non-profit and Public Benefits Organisation that has been pioneering the growing of outdoor classrooms in under-resourced schools across South Africa. Learn more about our work via this video. Through the important work of connecting children to the ecosystems that support them, and bringing the miracle of food into curriculum and tummies of children, we […]

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The Chikukwa Permaculture Project (Zimbabwe) – The Full Story

So we were saying, now what are we going to do? So we worked very hard. — Jessica Chibharo Introduction In ten years of field trips and working with students on food security and sustainable agriculture projects in South and South Eastern Africa, the project of the Chikukwa villages in Zimbabwe is the most successful I have encountered. My initial research in Africa began in 2003 and between then and […]

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Supporting the Spread of Zimbabwe Permaculture

In February 2012 we ran a story here at PRI about a film being made about a fantastic permaculture project in Zimbabwe. It was about a community called Chikukwa where permaculture has naturalized itself and over 22 years has moved a community of 7000 people from hunger and malnutrition to abundance. In a recent article about this, Australian academic Terry Leahy (who has been conducting research on food security projects […]

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It’s a Forest, You Just Can’t See It

An aerial view of a goat farm in the desert outside Dubai, a landscape that would benefit from Tony Rinaudo’s farmer-managed natural regeneration technique. Courtesy Mayang. Tony Rinaudo has an astonishing theory about the vast and apparently lifeless desert wastes of the UAE. He hasn’t been here, mind, and his observations are based on examining photographs of the region. But Mr Rinaudo’s theories merit serious consideration, because when it comes […]

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Report on Permaculture Training in Dembe Dollo, Western Ethiopia (Part 2)

Continuing from: Report on Permaculture Training in Dembe Dollo, Western Ethiopia (Part 1) Community trainings in the third world present a bit of a different set of challenges from your average western group. The community members often have quite a wealth of indigenous knowledge on the methods and the species of the area – they know exactly which trees are used for what (goat forage, fencing, medicine, fibre, etc.), how […]

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Regenerating Rusinga Island (Lake Victoria, Kenya)

In January, 2013, I wrote an article titled, "Helping Small Farmers Help Themselves on Rusinga Island". In December of 2012, I came to Rusinga Island for the first time under the invitation of PRI Kenya to teach a PDC to women and men subsistence farmers. What emerged out of the PDC was a small group of farmers — sixteen members — organizing themselves and setting up their own association called […]

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Permaculture in Lesotho

The PRI editor has been encouraging me to give a little more background info on my work on the ground here, so you can all better understand the situation I’m working in. Here’s a short attempt to do so. I have been living in Lesotho for two years, as a volunteer with Australian Volunteers International (AVI ). This is part of the Australian government’s southern African aid programme for 2012-2014. […]

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Report on Permaculture Training in Dembe Dollo, Western Ethiopia (Part 1)

It was the beginning of June this year and we were off on another exciting permaculture adventure in Ethiopia. This time we would be heading into the west. I was contacted last year by Gemma Pilcher, an Australian lady who supports a small food security project run by some Catholic nuns from Daughters of Charity, in Dembe Dollo, a fair-sized town way out in the east of the country near […]

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Nightshade, Peach and Money for Jam (Lesotho, Africa)

Peach blossoming in Lesotho Along roadsides, and in wild parts of the countryside and vacant lots here in Lesotho, many potential food plants can be found. These have been collected and eaten by people long before the start of agriculture, such as black nightshade (Solanum nigrum). Peach trees are very common on the Lesotho landscape, found around homes and in the field. In many cases they grow wild from people […]

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North Korea Permaculture?

A tractor in North Korea (Wikimedia) Having lived in South Korea for two years, I have learnt a lot about North Korea. In fact, it has become a minor obsession of mine. The things I have learnt, however, I did not learn from the mainstream media. Quite opposite to what you hear on the evening news, I forward that the country is barely a threat to the outside world. Any […]

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Hangzhou Permaculture (China)

As I stepped out of the taxi on a dark country road somewhere in China, Thomas Somner greeted me with an impressive fact. “This land used to have a large Taoist temple here before it was completely destroyed in the Cultural Revolution. The people in the village say that there are old Taoist artifacts buried around here and under the roads. I haven’t found any though.” I had arrived at […]

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