Refugees Visit Never Ending Food!

Zaleka Visit Dec 2017 203aThis week, Never Ending Food hosted a visit of about 30 refugees from the Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Dowa, Malawi.  Representing displaced people from various countries in the region, the tour was conducted in English and translated into Swahili.  The participants were able to witness–first hand–the amazing potential and benefits that Permaculture design can provide for people (no matter where we come from or where we end up)!  Due to the large size of the group, we broke into two smaller groups, one being led by Never Ending Food‘s Manager, Peter Kaniye, and one led by Never Ending Food Co-founder, Kristof Nordin.  We were able to show the group the basics of designing (e.g. guilds, zones, soil and water management, animal management, etc), as well as various sustainable technologies (e.g. composting toilets, worm farming, paper briquettes, solar drying, rainwater harvesting, compost making, mulching, etc.)  The group was very inspired by what they saw and vowed to begin implementing these ideas at the refugee camp to address issues of food security, nutrition, and the reduction of poverty.  Below are some pictures from the day:

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Agriculture Extension Officers Complete Permaculture Training!

IMG_1183Kusamala has just completed a 2-week Permaculture Design Course (PDC) for 16 agriculture extension officers, representing 4 different districts.  Kristof Nordin, from Never Ending Food, facilitated the first week, and Luwayo Biswick, from Kusamala, facilitated the second week.  The participants went through the entire design process from observation to mapping to the creation of individual designs.  They learned about Permaculture ethics, principles, and design tools (such as guilds, zones, and sector influences).  Numerous learning techniques were used, including: large and small group work, hands-on practicals, audio/visual aids, field visits, homework assignments, competitions, and more.

These newly certified Permaculture Designers have created action plans and are ready to get out into the field to share these ideas within the communities in which they work.  With the early onset of the rains, they have a great opportunity to begin implementing as soon as they get home.  All the best to each and every participant and please try to link up with the numerous other people in each of your districts who are already practicing Permaculture!

Liquid Manure

Liquid Manure

Compost Making

Compost Making

Design Practicals

Design Practicals

Mapping

Mapping

CorpsAfrica Permaculture Training!

CorpsAfrica Malawi Training Group 2017

CorpsAfrica Malawi Training Group 2017

Kristof Nordin, co-founder of Never Ending Food, just completed a 4-day ‘Introduction to Permaculture‘ training with CorpsAfrica in Malawi.  CorpsAfrica is a non-profit volunteer organization, which is structured similar to the U.S. Peace Corps program, but which recruits Africans to work in under-served African communities.  The program is currently implemented in Malawi, Morocco, and Senegal.  From their website:

CorpsAfrica recruits men and women to move to high-poverty communities within their own IMG_0909countries for a year, after successfully completing four weeks of training built around experiential learning to empower and equip Volunteers with the skills and mindsets they will need to be successful at their sites. Volunteers gain the community’s trust and understanding by engaging people in conversations and facilitating community meetings to identify and address changing and complex local needs in education, health, small business development, urban planning and infrastructure, agriculture, the environment, and more.They then initiate and facilitate projects that fulfill these key needs in their communities and whose impact and success can be carefully measured and monitored.”

IMG_0906IMG_0907Kristof was invited to give 4-days of training on various Permaculture tools which would be helpful to the volunteer’s service.  The group discussed various global and local challenges which they would be facing in their work (e.g. food insecurity, climate change, poverty, access to resources, etc), and then looked at how the 3 ethics of Permaculture (Earth Care, People Care, and Fair Share) could be implemented to empower communities to find locally-available solutions.  Throughout the 4-days, the topics included: agroecology, natural resources, soil and water management, guilds, zones, patterns, and working with communities.  CorpsAfrica bases their community development on a problem-solving approach known as ‘Human-Centered Design‘ (also known as ‘Design Thinking‘), which perfectly compliments the ‘Design Thinking’ of Permaculture.  The trainees still have two more weeks of pre-service training to complete, and we are hoping that they will be able to come for a tour of Never Ending Food before heading off to their various sites.

2-Day Peace Corps Training!

Peace Corps Training Oct 2017 018aThe United States Peace Corps in Malawi just completed a 2-day “Introduction to Permaculture” In-Service Training at Never Ending Food.  Sixteen volunteers from the south of the country, representing the Health, Education, and Environment sectors spent two days learning about the basics of Permaculture Design principles.  On the first day we did some ‘theory-based’ sessions on the current global and domestic challenges that Peace Corps Volunteers are trying to address in their community-based work.  We looked at the three main ethics of Permaculture (Earth Care, People Care, and Fair Share), and covered some of the main principles which guide Permaculture implementation.  The volunteers were also shown a display of locally-available resources which can be used to meet Malawi’s 6 food-group nutrition model, resources which can be used for income generating activities, and resources which can help to fulfill community demands for fuel, fiber, oil, and even natural medicines.

Peace Corps Training Oct 2017 003aPeace Corps Training Oct 2017 002aOn the second day, we focused more on the practical implementation of Permaculture Ideas.  We took an in-depth look at the concepts of ‘guilds’ and ‘zones’, and the participants were able to see how Never Ending Food has used these ideas.  We also looked at seed collection and nursery propagation and discussed the best timing for some of these activities in regards to Malawi’s seasonal calendar.  The volunteers were also able to see demonstrations of solar drying, composting toilets, paper briquettes, worm-farming, compost making, and plant propagation techniques.  We hope that the learning over the past two days will be beneficial to their continued work and contributions to helping build a better and more sustainable Malawi.  Best of luck to everyone!

Permaculture Design Course Visit!

PDC Visit Sept 2017 003aThe Kusamala Institute of Agriculture and Ecology is currently running a 2-week Permaculture Design Course (PDC).  As part of this course, the participants took a field visit to Never Ending Food where they could see, first-hand, many of the Permaculture principles that they are learning about.  Never Ending Food‘s Permaculture Manager, Peter Kaniye, and our new intern, Jacob Jumpha, led the tour and were able to demonstrate such Permaculture ideas as: guilds, zones, soil restoration, water harvesting, renewable energies, eco-sanitation, vermiculture, fish farming, beekeeping, sustainable architecture, food preservation, animal management, seed saving, and highly-nutritious diversified cropping systems.

PDC Visit Sept 2017 012aPermaculture Design begins with the process of observation and the mapping of existing resources.  It then moves on to the creation of a design which takes into account using these existing resources to their fullest potential and striving to meet the needs of the specific site.  These needs may vary depending on whether the design is being created for a home, school, business, or large-scale farm.  During their PDC, the participants are all working on creating designs for various sites throughout Malawi.  We hope that many of the ideas that they learned at Never Ending Food will be able to be incorporated into these plans for a sustainable future.  All the best!