Moving Mountains with our PDCs
For the Kesho Leo team, Thursday 5th of February 2015 ended with tears, smiles, laughter and all around warm feelings. It marked the completion of fws's most successful PDC (Permaculture Design Certificate Course) ever.
No small thanks are due to the incredible work of Lindsay (fws permaculture advisor) and Caroline (Kesho Leo manager) who hosted, instructed, and attended this course.
23 participants from a dozen different countries – some of them travelling up to two and even three days overland from the DRC, South Sudan and Zambia – joined our instructors and the Kesho crew in a course that had a deep impact on everyone. The resounding verdict was that this PDC was so much more than they had thought or hoped it would be.
A trio of lead instructors headed our diverse teaching team: fws's Lindsay Allen from the USA, Kenya's Nicolas Syano and Janet Maro of Tanzania, were joined by many guest teachers including our own farm manger John. We were thrilled to have Janet Maro on the team. A former PDC student, she is an organic farming expert and one of the leaders in the organic farmer movement in Tanzania.
It's hard to quantify the effects and benefits of the course, beyond the education the graduates received. But here are just a few.
The Kesho Leo mamas prepared several meals and sold fish from our farm fish ponds to supplement their allowances.
One of the course participants is planning to send Tanzanian community members to Kesho Leo for several weeks of internship training on our farms with farm manager John.
We continued to build strong relationships with sponsors such as: The Hereford Diocese (UK), Baptist World Aid (USA) and any other organizations, schools, and community groups - some very small.
We are pretty delighted to have issued $5,950 in scholarships for this course alone, and are very grateful to the Aussie donor who used crowd funding to sponsor one participant from Western Kenya.
This is our sixth PDC since 2012 – two of those presented in Kiswahili, fws being the first and only organisation to do so – and the brainchild of our permaculture guru, Robert Cork (aka Corky) who works tirelessly year round with the team to pull them together.
Anyone who has put a single moment or dollar into supporting the work of fws should be proud, as these PDCs are an example of what the holistic model of Kesho Leo and the years ofeffort can support, beyond the education, health and social welfare programs we offer to the community.
"I love all the pre-course work of communicating with all the students and their donors... It is hard to share how well respected our courses are, and how important these opportunities are to so many people." -- Corky
From all reports the students all had a great experience, and in the words of one happy course graduate:
"knowledge is wealth"