The Occidental Arts and Ecology Center

Brock and Lisa PicWe just had a wonderful visit from Brock Dolman and Lisa Mekis of the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center (OAEC) in California.  Brock is the Director of the the OAEC’s Water Institute as well as the Center’s Permaculture Design Program.  He also Co-Directs their Wildllands Biodiversity Program.  Lisa has been hired on by OAEC, and has come to Africa together with Brock, to work in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in conjunction with the ‘City of Joy‘–a rehabilitation and resource center for women who are survivors of the country’s tragic sexual violence.   This year, on February 14th, the V-Day Organization (a global movement to end violence against women and girls) will be celebrating ‘One Billion Rising‘, an effort to get people to “Strike, Dance, Rise” in their communities to demand an end to gender-based violence.  Brock and Lisa will be participating in the V-Day events in the DRC as well as assessing the potential for Permaculture Design applications on a large area of land that has recently been purchased to support the activities and efforts of the City of Joy.

Before arriving in Malawi, Brock and Lisa had a chance to visit some of the Permaculture sites in Zimbabwe–including the Fambizanai Permaculture Center (one of the oldest Permaculture Centers in Africa).  They also visited several school Permaculture projects in the Southern part of the Malawi and spent time with Walter Mugove, the Director of the Regional Schools and College Permaculture Programme (ReScope).  And of course, no tour of Malawi Permaculture would be complete without a visit to the home of the  ‘Agogo’ (Grandmother) of the Permaculture movement in Malawi, June Walker.  They then spent two nights at Never Ending Food where we tried to squeeze every last drop of Permaculture advice and knowledge out of them and they have now boarded a plane for the DRC.  We wish them the very best in their endeavors and want to send them a HUGE thank you for their encouragement, advice, great conversation, and wisdom that they so freely shared.  You are welcome back any time!