The week before last we had a visit from a group of women from the Dzaleka Refugee Camp, which is located about an hour’s drive north from Never Ending Food. This visit was arranged by Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), “an international Catholic organization with a mission to accompany, serve and advocate on behalf of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons.” We had 13 participants who were able to stay for the entire day. Communication was very interesting as many of these women were from Congo and Rwanda…we had conversations going in English, Chichewa, French, and Swahili! In the morning we showed them the ‘food & resource’ display and had a great discussion about the use of local resources within the Southern African region. We then took them for a tour around Never Ending Food to see some Permaculture examples in practice. For lunch we prepared a nutritious meal for the group which included several freshly grown items from the yard. After lunch they left enough time to travel up the road to the village of our Permaculture Manager, Luwayo Biswick. This was a very inspiring visit for the group as they could see local people doing amazing things with the same resources that they all have access to at the refugee camp. These women are now going back to develop a plan for their areas, where they would like to focus on nutrition, vegetable production, and income generation. We told them that when they get things underway we will pay them a visit and bring lots of seeds and cuttings to share. We are hoping that if and when they can ever get back to their home countries they will be carrying many of these ‘new’ Permaculture ideas with them.
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