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

pdc courses


Following the success of our 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 courses, fws is planning to offer another round of PDC courses in Tanzania in 2018.

English PDC | 5-16 October 2015 | in Arusha

Kiswahili PDC | June 22nd to July 3rd, 2015 | in Arusha

Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Courses

Learn the concepts of sustainable living and improved self-reliance through fws’s Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) courses. Courses are hosted throughout the year in English and Kiswahili.

While gaining this internationally recognised certification, you will have the opportunity to visit projects and other NGOs in the Arusha area, gain hands-on experience designing and working on the farms of Kesho Leo, and meet a diverse group of the international community; from farmers to NGO workers, from teachers to lodge managers.

Permaculture is a design system to improve sustainability and self-reliance. It incorporates solutions for agricultural production, self-reliance, income generation and environmental protection. You will gain valuable knowledge and skills to apply to your own livelihood, and share with your community or through your organisation. Ecological principles are used to integrate food and energy production, structures, and community. Its aim is the creation of sustainable human settlements that are harmoniously woven into the environment and that maintain the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems.

Principles of Permaculture underpin the Kesho Leo systems that are working to, not only meet the food, water, shelter and energy needs of the Kesho Leo residents, but also to provide community educational opportunities and generate income. Through our PDCs you’ll learn hands-on from our livestock, organic vegetable gardens and aquaculture ponds, food forests and poultry systems, compost toilets and rainwater systems; all while supporting the promotion of self reliance within Africa.

Our PDCs are as equally useful for homeowners, professionals and development workers as it is for farmers and gardeners. It is relevant whether you are based in the city or working the fields.Throughout the course each student will be working on a design project for their own property.

Topics covered through our PDCs include:

  • sustainable farming and household gardening for self-reliance and excess
  • soil management using composting, swale design and other simple techniques
  • surface water management and rainwater harvesting
  • aquaculture, livestock and poultry care
  • natural forest regeneration and biodiverse food forests
  • income generation solutions like mushroom and honey production 
  • sanitation solutions such as compost toilets and biodigesters
  • permaculture ethics and principles of site design and integrated systems 
  • village design, natural building and appropriate technologies including fuel efficient stoves.

For further information, questions or just to say hi, send an email to pdc@foodwatershelter.org.au, or see the information for our upcoming Kiswahili and English PDCs.

To be placed on our mailing list to hear about upcoming opportunities, please enter your details here.


You can pay for your place at the course by PayPal or credit card, in Australian dollars or US Dollars.

Pay in Australian dollars >

Pay in US dollars >

For Sponsors

In addition to the provision of educational opportunities, PDCs are organised by fws as part of long-term income generation goals. Opportunities exist for course sponsorship to assist student attendance and support ongoing Kesho Leo projects.

To make a tax-free donation for a scholarship to support East African based students please make a general donation and enter "PDC course sponsorship" in the "special requests" box.