Last week we had a visit from World Camp, Inc., an organization that “works collaboratively to develop and implement educational, humanitarian and environmental solutions in disadvantaged communities worldwide. [Their] programs focus on locally challenging issues and advocate community-based solutions with an emphasis on human potential. World Camp channels resources from the international community to meaningful projects that mobilize youth, local leaders and community members to deliver positive social change.”
As part of their visit to Never Ending Food, we tried to highlight some of the locally available resources that may integrated into the World Camp program to help bring about these ‘community-based solutions’. We spent some time learning about the hundreds of different foods that grow in Malawi, as well as some of the local medicines. We also looked at how these resources can be used to save money as well as help communities to make money through processing and the development of local markets.
Howard Zamula, one of our local Permaculture Design Certificate holders, gave the group a tour around the community. This tour allowed the World Camp volunteers to be exposed to the ideas of composting toilets, worm farming, solar drying, paper briquette making, water harvesting, integrated planting systems, animal management, and much more. They were able to see Permaculture designs in practice both at Never Ending Food as well as in the local community at large. There has been a slow-but-steady uptake from the surrounding community to these ideas, reaching the point where we now seem to have more households doing something Permaculture-related than who are not doing something. This has led to an increase in the sharing of surplus throughout our community as well as to an improvement in people’s overall health. It is such a refreshing and wonderful experience to have community members sharing seeds, fruits, or other foods back with you after you may have initially shared the seeds or cuttings to get them started!