Never Ending Food’s former Permaculture Manager, Luwayo Biswick, is seeking financial support to achieve his dream of getting an International Diploma of Permaculture Design from Gaia University. The total cost for this course is $5,500 US dollars and he has set up a fundraising page through the We The Trees organisation. He has already raised $750 dollars, but there is a long way to go, so any additional assistance would help to move this extraordinary individual, teacher, and community organizer one step closer to his goal!
There is a deadline on this fund-drive, and Luwayo only has about 40 days left to raise the remainder of what is needed. If you are willing and able to help, please go directly to the We The Trees campaign page and submit a donation…it’s as easy as a clicking a button!
From the We The Trees campaign:
Certified in Permaculture design Luwayo Biswick has 7 years of experience as a Permaculture Facilitator, Consultant and Designer. He works with local and international organizations, schools, and colleges, hospitals, local villages, communities, churches and individuals on Permaculture and sustainable land designs for food production, holistic health and integrated land management, poverty alleviation, climate change mitigation and rehabilitation techniques for degraded chaotic landscapes to reclaim resilient systems. Produced a variety of permaculture teaching materials including, videos and manuals, in both English and local language (uploaded on You Tube, Face Book and Kusamala website,www.kusamala.org) Conducted (still does) a variety of permaculture programs both on local radio, television and the international radio (BBC) Co-founder of New life Permaculture youth group dealing with recycling of non-bio-degradable materials such as plastic bags, Co-author of 15 simple step by step Permaculture manuals
Where will the money go
Part of the money will be used to establishment a unique permaculture rain fed paradigm in remote areas in the western part of Malawi where no one has demonstrated permaculture before. In this area the soils are completely sandy and holds less moisture even nutrients. The people living in this area don’t own their own lands they depend on rented land to grow their food. The fields are separated from the villages too and they walk long distances to go and farm. Animals are everywhere and they temper with these fields once something is planted. These villages are also sorrounded by big tobacco farms that disseminate messages on and promote monoculture high input ways of farming leading to even more soil degradation, high rate of malnutrition problems, hunger, poverty, climate change and many more problems in this area
Because permaculture is solution based no matter how chaotic the landscape may be, we believe all the world challenges can be solved in a garden so the demonstration to be established will demonstrate, climate smart Permaculture designs, specific to areas like these focusing on microclimate design systems to meet specific needs in specific areas, while also demonstrating, how to maximize production and extend harvests seasons, for the benefit of the people and the environment as a whole. We have demonstrated households and village designs and found it working perfectly but these are the areas where they grow their main rain fed crops. We came to realize too that Malawi as a country is not able to demonstrate such fields, especially fields that are not close or connected to the villages.
We are going to build a composting loo to demonstrate how you can make and use human manure and this manure will be tested in the demonstration to show case how effective human manure can be in our rain fed fields to cut the cost of buying synthetic fertilizers. Besides human manure we are going to demonstrate small animal systems because they are highly prolific and have strong manure.
All the above will be part of my journey and as a portifolio to acquire a diploma of permaculture from Gaia University so part of the money will be used for my diploma payment .
Born in a family of 12 was not easy for our family to get food to sustain ourselves, I even failed to complete my tertiary education because my parents couldn’t afford to pay for my fees. The days we went to bed with empty stomachs outnumbered the days we could get something to eat, this was a result of poor monoculture high input way of farming we were involved in. I was raised in tobacco farms where my parents worked up to when i reached 17 years of age.
‘I discovered permaculture in early 2009. I had a friend working part time with the Nordins co-founders of Never Ending Food Permaculture www.neveverendingfood.org. Every time I went to visit my friend I was impressed with how things were growing without the use of synthetic agro-chemicals.
I was so inspired by what i saw that i decided to create a garden myself, ‘ I just started doing something without any training, without knowledge or support, or any money. I redesigned my parent’s yard differently to how we used to do.
‘I kept visiting the Nordin’s to see if they could visit my demonstration and they did, they came and offered some advice and resources like books and seeds, especially open pollinated seeds from their house. When I started diversifying crops I started getting rid of the hunger problems, pest problems, energy and inputs as well as reclaiming the land surrounding my parent’s buildings.
I got certified in permaculture design in 2010, I did my course over a period of 6 months/2days every month. I worked for the permaculture institute to get my certificate because I had no money to pay but instead I had passion and more energy to pay for my course.
Overcoming challenges and stigma
‘People around me thought I was mad, going crazy. Some said I’d never get married. I was gathering mulch- it was the first time in their life they had seen a good man like me gathering organic matter, and wanting to plant beds directly outside my house and saying I want to plant food. They thought the front yard is for sweeping- that’s why they said I was going crazy. At first my parents also thought I was crazy.
I showed remarkable courage in resisting the stigma of my neighbours and family, with encouraging results. My parents are also benefiting from my persistence and vision. Now Since 2009, i have facilitated a lot of Permaculture workshops and have also been issuing permaculture design certificates to all sorts of people both local and internationals. I currently work as a lead permaculture trainer, designer and consultant at Malawi’s largest and leading permaculture Institute www.kusamala.org. I have worked as a permaculture manager at never ending food permaculture and also co-facilitated Permaculture design courses with my mentor Mr Kristof Nordin www.neverendingfood.org . Have been very active in dissemination of permaculture information on our local radio and television including the BBC radio.”