Malawi’s first “official” Permaculture Training Center is now up and running! To visit the Training Center’s website, please click here. Located at the beautiful Kumbali Estate, the owners, the Pickerings, have been generously assisting to get the Center up and running. As part of the estate’s mandate to preserve a certain percentage of the over-600 hectare plot (1400+ acres) for natural growth and sustainable land usage, the Pickerings have identified and offered over 50 hecatares (100+ acres) for use in Permaculture design and Permaculture-related activities. They have also been working extremely hard on converting an old horse stable facility into a beautiful Training center complete with thatched roof and composting toilets!
The center’s roof was completed just in time for last year’s (November 2009) International Permaculture Convergence (IPC9), where almost 30 people were accomodated within its refurbished rooms. Since that time, a couple named Eston and Carol Ngali moved into the Training Center’s staff house and began making some great designs in terms of soil and water management, as well as getting some incredible food production going!
The Center has already conducted trainings in Permaculture Design Certification (PDC), introduction to organic farming, sustainable gardening, and plans are underway to include many more topics including: thatching, aquaculture, training of trainers, beekeeping, animal management, additional PDC’s, and more.
The Training Center is located just outside of Malawi’s capital city of Lilongwe in a rural setting of natural forests, agriculture land, a dairy farm (that produces the best natural yoghurt in Malawi!), a gorgeous up-scale guest lodge for overnight accomodation, and educational opportunities such as a cultural village and the Permaculture Training Center. The cultural village offers local music, tradititional dancing, Sunday brunches, and mid-range accomodation.
Currently, the Training Center is being managed by Hope Thornton (whom you may recognize as the intern that we hosted and whose master’s thesis on Permaculture adaptation is posted on our website), along with Mada Seibert, who came to volunteer for IPC9 and has continued on dedicating her time and energy to Permaculture activities throughtout the entire Kumbali Estate. We would like to send out a HUGE thank you to the Pickerings, who without their financial support, enthusiasm, and hard work, the Nature’s Gift Permaculture Center would have never become a reality!