The Sector39 team decided to hold a small networking meeting to develop Uganda networks and were graciously offered to host the meeting at St Augustine’s International University, by Prof. of agriculture Charles Ssekyewa. The Sector39 team consisting of Helen, Gerald, Ali, Steve and Grace organised the event and around 20 people turned up, students, lecturers and people from other organisations that work in the regenerative/permaculture sector.
The meeting began at 2pm with Steve Jones opening with thoughts on permaculture work in UK, specifically food waste composting and linking that to horticulture training and community development in Wales.
This was followed by a presentation on the work of Sector 39 in conjunction with NRC on permaculture with refugees from South Sudan and host Ugandan communities. We developed a ten day training programme which was delivered to 40 people from the refugee and host community, who will in turn become advocates and trainers for their peers. The intention is to reach a further 200 people through a trainer of trainers programme.
The floor was then open for attendees to talk about their own projects. We heard from Eustace Sajjabi from AFIRD (Agency for Integrated) Rural Development and Kiyimba Mugagga, from SCOPE (Schools and Colleges Permaculture Programme) Uganda . They spoke about their work in permaculture in schools and the work of creating school gardens and food forests to provide nutrition and knowledge to pupils and teachers. They also spoke of the need to bring permaculture into the curriculum of schools across the whole of Uganda, following in the examples of the work in the Zimbabwe schools curriculum.
We had associates from Kulika Uganda, Magdelene Amujal and Harriet Ndagire. Kulika is an organisation working with small scale farmers to promote ecological and organic farming systems. They have a permaculture demo site in their offices in Kampala and are looking towards teaching more about permaculture to their farmers.
Rogers Wasibi came from Mbale to represent The Mount Elgon Coffee and Honey Cooperative. They have been working with the Size of Wales project to diversify the local community into agroforestry and reforestation projects inf the hilly areas of Mount Elgon, where there is a large coffee growing industry. Prices of coffee can fluctuate massively leaving people economically exposed. Coffee is an understory shrub so can work well in conjunction with other trees. Rogers is interested in learning more about permaculture and how it can help his cooperative of honey and coffee producers.
We heard from Gerald Jagwe and Hellen Aanyuaujo about their work on developing the first East African Permaculture Association. They are beginning to focus on creating regional hubs that can be representatives of all areas across Uganda. They are in the early stages of formation, but it’s an exciting and inspiring idea to network permaculture graduates and teachers across Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya.
We also heard from Prof. Charles Ssekyewa about the development of the new agriculture department at St Augustine’s University and their interest in organic systems and permaculture. There is a hope from Charles that this meeting wont be the last and that this could be the beginning of a regular yearly meet up.
We heard from Benoit Musabyimana from BAC AGRITECH Ltd, a company in Rwanda. He is looking to begin organic waste recycling/composting centre in Kigali, using the compost to promote organic agriculture to local farmers.
We had around 6 agriculture students from the University that were interested in finding more about permaculture.
Michael Kanaabi, from NACRRI (National crops resources and research institute) talked about the need for more research on permaculture farming to create quantitative data on permaculture for small/large scale farmers. There were also ideas floated around that would make use of students looking for research projects that help could create that much needed hard data and evidence of the benefits of permaculture systems.There was also a note that there was a lack of examples of larger scale (10/20 acres) permaculture projects.
We thank everyone for attending and a big thanks to Dr. Elizabeth Westaway for promoting this meeting on social media. We really hope to continue this next year and to build on ideas together in the future.
Here are some photos from our last week’s work in the Uganda at Maaji refugee settlement area. These farmers were new to permaculture back in June by September they had created these and many more examples of working with nature.
The Permaculture design certificate course is 80 hours of intensive study, practicals, demonstrations site visits and group work that serves as a foundation in permaculture design. It is an essential, energising and life changing course for most participants.
Sector39 have been delivering these courses since 2006 reaching 100’s of people and in many locations and venues. The most tried and trusted format for this course is the two week residential course, that literally immerses participants in the permaculture ideas and practices and is designed to create a personal shift from ideas to action. I always like to say permaculture is much more something you do than something to talk about and the whole purpose of the course is to create a momentum or tipping point that propels people from aspirations of change to really making that happen.
However, for many two weeks is prohibitively long time to take time out from work/ life commitments and increasingly it is hard for our facilitation team to commit in advance with many other commitments competing for attention. I have been thinking hard about how to get around this and to make the courses accessible to all, as well as wondering how to make the most of the great facilites and working permaculture projects and examples we have in our area here in Mid Wales.
4 Part rolling PDC.
The idea is to plan a rolling on going course, spread over 4 long weekends a year that can serve as a refresher, an introduction or form part of a full PDC process. Sessions will run from Friday to Monday with a weekend in the middle that is open to all comers and will be themed around site visits, demonstrations and practical work as well as slots for people to present on tier worn projects, develop ideas and recruit participants.
A typical weekend might look like this
Friday: 10.00 am to 6.00 pm. PDC sessions covering core syllabus areas working towards the certificate.
Friday evening, all Saturday – up til Sunday 4.00 pm: Permaculture action weekend. Open to all, past graduates and potential future participants
Participants can therefore join and any stage of the course and those completing all 4 units will be awarded their Permaculture Design Certificate.
We are very keen to receive feedback and interests regarding this new proposed programme. Please get in touch
Due to the popularity of the PDC Non Residential Course field trips to Llanfyllin Workhouse over the years, S39 is now hosting the following Action Weekends:
September 7, 8, 9th
November 30th – Dec 2nd
April 13, 14, 15th.
The Weekends will provide all previous PDC members from the residential and non-residential courses the opportunity to:
Reconnect with Permaculture Principles and utilise them in a practical way
Reunite with course colleagues and meet new ones from other groups
Follow the progress and development of the project through the changing seasons and years
Practice skills, learn new ones and engage purposefully in a positive way in nature
Spend time with like-minded people, share stories and information in a social setting
Move from thinking to doing building confidence and experience by engaging with a developing site
The Action Weekend is £25 per person per night and includes Dinner, Bed and Breakfast at the Bunk House.
Lunches are not included but there are numerous places to go for midday meals in Llanfyllin as well as the option to have Lunch together on the Sunday at an additional cost of £10.00 per person. Participants are welcome to bring along any produce or beverages they wish to consume or share during Dinner and Breakfast at the Workhouse.
Depending on the response to these residential weekends, we may organise future larger scale events at the Workhouse such as a Harvest Party or Solstice Celebration to encourage our Permaculture Community to connect, grow and hopefully blossom into the future!
The Workhouse is a community owned historic building that literally used to be a poor house. Part of it is now a bunkhouse and its a fun place to stay for a weekend with a group of 10 -15 people.
Workhouse bunkhouse is £15.00 per person per night
Sctor39 donation for weekend £25.00 minimum
Food: Evening meal provided by Sector39, please bring and share your own produce or cooking for lunches, snack and to augment main meals.
Sunday roast in the Cain hotel Llanfyllin option also @ £10 extra
For more effective humanitarian, refugee and international development programmes, please join Chris Evans, Gisele Henriques and Guests for the 5-day Permaculture for Development Workers (P4DW) course on 11th-16th September 2018 at Applewood Permaculture Centre, Herefordshire, UK:
Permaculture is the conscious and ethical application of ecological principles in the design of sustainable human habitats. This course aims to introduce the use of permaculture design to improve the appropriateness and effectiveness of “development” through the application of ecological principles and design processes to programme design, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
Using case studies from different continents, and cutting edge development theory to illustrate how permaculture has been (and can be) successfully applied at all scales (household to community to larger regions), the course will provide an inspiring and pro-active set of tools to help international development-focused individuals, community-based organisations and non-governmental organisations run effective programmes.
Permaculture and refugees initiative is a Norwegian Refugee Council funded project, led by Sector39 training team.
Images from the third Action Support visit to the Maaji region of Northern Uganda. Sector39 led on the training for these settlers Uganda; in return for training and in field support the 20 participants are preparing to work as outreach permaculture trainers for the their region. Each has the target to reach 5 more individuals in the region and to support them to set up their own training and demonstration plot to support the uptake of permaculture design ideas and techniques.
In support of this work Sector39 are developing a training manual that focuses on the Holmgren permaculture principles and ethics. Permaculture is a design system for solving problems, not a set of techniques to be blindly replicated. We hope that individual trainers will learn how to adapt ideas to fit individual circumstances. So far there has been a great deal of enthusiasm for the work and many participants have already been successful in reaching out to and recruit the net tier level of trainers.
This is a new approach to training in these circumstances. The intention is to create pathways from reliance on external aid donations to resilient communities meeting much of their own needs from local resources.
Another awesome moment to witness, the zeal and commitment from these Gentlemen and ladies. They are now a part of the ” Green Warriors ” ready to take on the bull by the horns. Well done S39 team and yes NRC, much appreciation for keeping the promise. Gerald Jagwe, S39 trainer
Great to see progress at Maaji refugee and host community settlements. Of all the permaculture related innovations we have been developing and demonstrating and for good reason, the energy efficient stove has proved the most popular.
Here is a narrated slide show of progress from the second week of in field visits following on from the June 12 day permaculture training provided by the Sector39 team.
It has been a personal ambition of mine to teach scything at school to teenagers for about 10 years. This week I finally got to do it. Very satisfying.
Many of the pupils are children of farmers and generally not used to using hand tools, but for habitat management and managing food forests and herbaceous landscapes they are the ideal tool once you get the hang of them.
One School One Planet Podcast is from the schools project in Llanfyllin this week and this is accompanied by s slideshow of some of our work with Welsh Baccalaureate GCSE class.
We have a way to go before we get this good. There is a resurgence in hand-tools and the realisation that no moving parts means nothing can break.
The 2 week residential course is designed to create a permanent shift in the way people think. It is an immersion in permaculture ideas to the point that the participant starts to perceive and see things differently in a way they can’t un-see them.
I sense that many who attend a residential PDC are looking to create a watershed point in their lives, where long held convictions are turned into actions. There is no doubt that completing a PDC is both a reassertion and discovery of ones own core values and convictions and a deliberate attempt to forge a pathway towards ones own stated goals and ambitions. If you really want to turn your own ideas into actions do a PDC. Not least because you are surrounded by people at a similar stage in their own development, you tend not to forget your PDC classmates, long term bonds and important connections can be made.
As a teacher of 40 full PDC’s I have started to spot the patterns and see how it really works. It is always a pleasure to see people go through this journey and I am always genuinely interested to see where they go with it and what they do next. Our most recent course, for refugees from South Sudan was taught through two simultaneous translators to a group who spoke 8 different languages. Class content was pared to a minimum and we completed 16 different practical activities over the fortnight.
Interestingly the results were exactly the same or even more powerful than our usual format we use in the UK. Permaculture really works, it is adaptable, powerful and relevant and I think it is one of the best we have to shift the mindset of humanity to a harmonious relationship with each other and our living planet.
Our next one is planned for November in Wales, staying a housing co-operative and Air B+B in the mid Wales borders.