It has been another exciting period for Permaculture in Malawi. The country is preparing to host the International Permaculture Convergence (IPC9) in November of this year. We have been working with a local cultural center and lodge near the capital city of Lilongwe to prepare the venue for hosting what could turn out to several hundred people. For more information regarding IPC9, please click here.
Earlier this year, Stacia and I received our Permaculture Diplomas signed by Bill Mollison himself! This has to one of the most exciting things that has ever happened to us. This was due to a visit to Malawi by the internationally recognized Permaculutralist, Ali Sharif, from Brazil. As a diploma holder himself, and one of the first student to have been trained by Bill Mollison, he was able to verify our qualifications and facilitate the process. We owe Mr. Sharif a great debt of gratitude. He has also helped to raise the standards of Permaculture in Malawi as we now have five people who hold diplomas in Permaculture design. Ali Sharif was also instramental in organizing IPC8 in Brazil and has now been giving Malawi advice and assistance in our efforts to set up IPC9.
Kristof has been working with a group known as Partners in Health recently and they are in the process of setting up a Permaculutre demonstration plot at a large hospital in the South of the country to assist with nutrition, home-based care, and HIV intervention. They have brought several staff to our home for a 3-day introduction to Permaculture and will be funding a 12-day Permaculture Design Course at the end of this month for those who will be involved with this project and its outreach program. Its main target will be to assist a population of almost 1000 HIV positive people with knowledge about growing and eating locally available foods, designing living situations to receive high outputs for low inputs, and learning about the use of local medicines for opportunistic infections and overall maintanance of health.
Stacia has continued to support Malawi’s School Health and Nutrition programme. There are a growing number of Primary Schools throughout the country that are turning to Permaculture to teach children the value of a diverse diet, the conservation of natural resources, and the sustainability of low-input agriculture. The Sustainable School Food and Nutrition pilot program started with 40 schools and now the number has grown to over 250 as other schools have adopted the approach on their own. There is a push now to adapt the curriculum to reflect the reality of what the students are learning about Permaculture living and its benefits.
We also had a wonderful visit from Kristof’s mom, Lillian, and our long-time friend, Ski, from Wisconsin. This gave us the opportunity to get away awhile to spend some time at a forestry lodge, at Lake Malawi, and to show off some of our Permaculture activities. Here is a picture of all of us at the venue for the upcoming IPC9.