Preparing for East Africa’s first Permaculture Convergence, join us.

Preparing for East Africa’s first Permaculture Convergence, join us.
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Design for Sabina school driveway orchard 2008

A convergence is a coming together, in this case we are hoping to bring together leading practitiners and advocates for permacuture design in East Africa. The aim is to accelerate the already considerable momentum in the region by profiling some of the amazing work already underway in the region.

Since 2015 Sector39 have taught two full PDCs in Uganda and are planning the third currently. We have also formed a supportive partnership with two Ugandan organisations to enable us to extend our regional ambitions. East Africa is literally hungry for permaculture and there is so much that can be done to significantly improve people’s lives and resilience utilising resources that are largely already available.

It seems an obvious step forward for our East African partnership to try to raise the profile for permaculture by creating an event that demonstrates the many possibilities for its positive application. We are inviting some of the region’s biggest enthusiasts as speakers and workshop leaders and planning for an event that can bring together students from our first three courses with school heads, politicians and other scoial and financial gatekeepers with whom we might build new and mutually beneficial relationships.

The planned venue couldn’t be more ideal as it is home the most mature designed food forest in whole region and the school has embraced permaculture design and ideas within its core curriculum, even the Head Teacher has completed a PDC!

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Students and teachers from Sabinas permaculture class meet Steve from Sector39

Sabina school is near to Rakai in central Uganda, the region that was the epicentre of the global AIDS epidemic. They are still in recovery from the terrible loss of life, creativity and human resource but are well on track to have the situation fully under control by 2030. Modern drugs have massively reduced the mortality rate, it is no longer a death sentence and people are open about their HIV status. That said there are still many orphans in the region and a great deal of work to be done to compenstate for the terrible effets of the epidemic.

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Sabina students in the school’s forest garden. Bananas, avocado, pumpkin, jack fruit, there is food everywhere!

The 2-day conference is intended to both bring permaculture practitioners, students and pioneers together as well as creating a platform to celebrate and showcase achievements to inspire and demonstrate possibilities for new and interested parties. There wil be talks, demonstrations, a permaculutre futures forum and a school partnerships proposal Launch.

As well as site tours and demonstrations at Sabina there will be a chance to visit The Permaculture Research of Uganda, (PRI-UG) which has an ecological farm and demonstration site less than an hour from the intended venue and that is en route for anyone travelling from Kampala. The day immediately before and after the actual convergence will be open days for the site with guided tours and discussion forums planned.

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Grace an ex pupil from Llanfyllin High school with Charles an ex Sabina pupil with some of the current juniors.

Political persuasion.

Permaculture belongs in schools. Imagine the anxiety for young adults when confronted with the fact that the next 30 years of their lives is going to dominated by climate change, a dwindling oil supply and the possibility if never-ending resource wars accompanied by ceaseless waves of refugees.

Currently it feels like no one in the main stream is offering solutions or ways forward they are battoning down the hatches and tightening border controls. We need to offer more than vision of a sustainable future, we need to provide the mechanism for change and pathways for empowerment and inclusion in that process and where better to begin than at school?

We have the support of the minister for education for Buganda and the national minister for education was a founding force behind Sabina school where the event will be held  so there exists a solid foundation to link the event to movement on a political level. When arrived in Kampala some 6 weeks ago our first meeting was with Mr Mula, permanent secretary to the Vice President of Uganda, he offered us his full support and strongly endorsed the work of Charles Mugarura and partners BEU Permaculture. We are looking to the younger generation to take the lead he emphasised.

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Launch of BEU permaculture, Uganda’s most dynamic permaculture team and partners with Sector39 delivering this event

Sector39’s education team have since began work on 12 educational units for use in school that will introduce permaculture’s key principles to the curriculum, not as a subject but as cross curricular themes.

The East African Convergence gives us a timeline now to develop and profile this work. We have a key partner school in Wales to develop and trial the materials with as well as an emerging school network in Uganda so we are absolutely ready to take this work to the next level.

Pre booking and sponsorship packages are available to help us develop these potentials and we are also reaching out to teachers and educators to help realise these ambitions.

Delivery Partnership

  • The Sector39 education team are taking a lead role in organising this event, please contact us for bookings, sponsorships and other offers of help. There will be volunteering and internship opportunities as well.
  • On the ground logistics, site development, volunteer hosting plus marketing support and branding services are being provided  by BEU Permaculture, Kampala.
  • PRI-UG are offering demonstration visits, networking a practical support fir workshops and site development.
  • PermoAfrica centre and K5 community permaculture are linking us to on the ground community permaculture practical work in Kenya and will be profiling their 2 years of developmental experience for the conference.
  • Key note speakers tbc. We are  inviting a leading Author on East African botany, a leading agronomist and politician in the educational field to outline the key themes of the conference.
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Meeting the head and agreeing on outline plans for the coming event

Permaculture & solidarity

Permaculture is a global phenomenon. Responding to climate change is also gong to take the work of everyone on the planet to turn around the challenges we face going forward. Simple but effective ways to express our solidarity and to support other leaders around the world are needed to accelerate these much-needed changes. This is one of the many reasons why we are working in Uganda to develop links between Wales and Africa and to share learning and support in new and effective ways.  The teacher in the video below is working to support vulnerable girls from extremely poor back grounds to attend high school in their home district of Busoga in Uganda. Last years she attended a permaculture design course with Sector39 and this year we are returning to help develop a forest garden to support the girls and the wider objectives of the school. Small but practical steps to affect change in a way that also supports change around the world. We need you help to make this happen, any donation, not matter how small will help towards this end.

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Here is one of the project beneficiaries talking about using permaculture to very low income support students at the high school

Forest Garden for Busoga High

 

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Field trip to Busoga 2016

Connie is the English Literature teacher at Busoga high and last year Grace from Sector39 caught her for a few minutes during the S39 PDC at nearby Kamuli, to talk about the girls she supports at the school. They are developing a school garden within the campus to generate small incomes to provide for essentials for the girls. I love the idea of a school empowering its pupils to generate money towards fees, books and accommodation and we hope to celebrate and promote this kind of partnership through our teaching work. 

 

When Raymond Orenda from Homa Bay permaculture Kenya contacted us about contributing to the next Kamuli PDC in May 2017 and offered a forest garden workshop, it wasn’t hard for us to put 2 and 2 together. Can we develop an output from the PDC that is an input into Connie’s essential work at Busoga.

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Raymond celebrates the next stage completion of their project base in Homa Bay

Obviously on a busy PDC schedule time and resources can be limited but we can certainly set something in motion here that could be start of a longer term project for Busoga high and that could serve as an inspiration to school around the globe.

The idea of a school releasing some grounds so students can begin small enterprises that meet both their own and the wider communities needs, creates a powerful change in the relationship between school and the pupils.

Sector39 have been at the forefront of permaculture in the UK since its inception in 2005 and bases its teaching work on the 25 years of project and educational experience.

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English teacher Connie from Busoga High with Han Rees from Llanfyllin In Kamuli last year

We are based in Mid Wales but have strong links across the UK and with permaculture in Uganda, where we have been invited to take an active role in the development of the Permaculture Research Institute of Uganda. Our second African PDC is intended to build on the achievements of partnership visits in 2011, 2014 and 2016, where significant contacts and networks have already been established.

African PDC’s. These are open to both local and international participants and especially suit farmers, teachers and project planners from East Africa and NGO staff and trainers planning to work in the region

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Next PDC courses: Wales and Uganda May & June 2017

We hope sector39 can bring the right people together in May/ June to advance this project and to develop it as a powerful example of collaboration between projects.

 

 

Permaculture courses

Much is planned for the coming year, kicking off with a 6 weekend PDC at RISC Reading. Sector39, our teaching partnership began from work done in 2002-5 in Reading at RISC, on the roof garden and in Wales at Chickenshack housing co-op from 1995. These two project gave us experience and insight enough to begin teaching our selves. So it is perfect to be back in Reading at the end of this month to offer a full PDC at RISC and in the garden
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Permaculture course advert RISC 2017

Sector39 are also planning to offer full residential camping course in Mid Wales in the village of Llanrhaeadr, home to Dragons Co-operative.
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Permaculture design courses for 2017 from Sector39

Letter from Gambia

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Hi Steve..

We believe that  permaculture is  essential for sustainable development.
Buba, Gambia

Our aims are to create a central permaculture resource center as well
as build a strong permaculture network across the country by gathering
as much training materials and information on permaculture and organic
farming as possible. We would then aim to bring the information to the
rural communities in the upcountry regions and create a permaculture
revolution in our country.

We believe that by developing a permaculture movement here, we will help the government’s aims to make the Gambia a 100% organic and food self-sufficient country.

The challenge is that although we are a nation of farmers, as yet we don’t have any permaculture experts in the country. We were wondering
whether you could help!

We need help with finding some excellent permaculture experts who
might be interested in either becoming skype mentors or coming to the
Gambia to work with us. We can also feed people who come to
work with us.

In addition we’d be very grateful for any help in building a
permaculture resource center by finding all the training videos
and education materials.

Please let me know whether this is something you could help with.

Buba Jawneh
permaculture Gambia.

Hi Buba!

Great to hear from you. Some really useful ideas there, yes building up and sharing permaculture teaching resources and offering mentoring  are great ideas and essential to help spread permaculture.

I really agree with you that the potential for permacultre in Africa is huge, I sincerely hope we can find useful ways to support each others work, going forward.

Thanks for writing and please keep in touch,

Steve

Sector39 are currently working to support a Kenya permaculture tutor to complete his diploma and qualify fully as a permaculture teacher. He aims ot lead his community in Kenya towards fod security and we hope to share his learning and experiences across the network.

If anyone can help this campaign we would be really grateful.