We build early learning eco-friendly children's villages and big, bright futures

pdc course Arusha 2013

The term ‘permaculture’ was coined in Australia and means permanent agriculture. It is a system that seeks to promote ecological diversity and inclusivity, stemming from the main principles of Earth Care, People Care and Fair Share.

Permaculture seeks to increase crop productivity, whole ecological health, water and soil conservation in a system that essentially aims to reduce input but increase output, both physical and economic.

Permaculture has the potential to transform communities, as it is not just an agricultural practice, but more a holistic philosophy; a way of looking at ecological systems, including human relationships to see how the problem can be the solution.

fws has been working hard for the past 2 years to cultivate a platform for teaching permaculture and to create an East African network for sharing. This year fws Tanzania hosted the first international permaculture and design certificate (PDC) course to be taught in the Tanzanian national language of Kiswahili.

The PDC is an internationally recognised qualification.The aim was to empower and create a more inclusive method of teaching permaculture to Kiswahili speakers in the region.

30 participants attended the course in Arusha, coming from across East Africa. Missionaries, NGO workers, government agriculturalists and horticulturalists all joined together with Kenyan teachers from the Permaculture Research Institute Kenya to learn and share permaculture teachings.

The course is transformative. Tangible evidence of the impact of permaculture on people’s lives was presented to fws Tanzania this week by one of the participants of the Kiswahili course. Alliance Franco Tanzanienne (AFT) submitted a report compiled by their head gardener on his attendance at the course. He reported that the course had enabled him to develop an organic kitchen garden to provide veggies for the AFT café. He also noted that the director of AFT has given he and his colleague promotions, based upon their impressive management skills, ideas and evident growth in self-confidence since their return from the course.

And so… permaculture is an opportunity for growth in all directions: empowering and creating more adaptive and resilient individuals, communities and planet.

And Kesho Leo's third PDC is currently being attended by 27 participants from 11 countries and 5 continents, with students travelling from as far as South Sudan, The DR Congo, India, and the USA.  These students will join our USA based instructor Steve Whitman and a host of local guest instructors for this two week course.  As always, Kesho Leo staff and members of the local community are well represented.  Stay tuned for an update in next GS, and watch out for more of these opportunities in 2014.