Kristof Nordin, co-founder of Never Ending Food, facilitated a 4-day ‘Introduction to Permaculture‘ training with CorpsAfrica in Malawi. CorpsAfrica is a non-profit volunteer organization, which is structured similar to the U.S. Peace Corps program, but which recruits Africans to work in under-served African communities. The program is currently implemented in Malawi, Morocco, and Senegal. From their website:
“CorpsAfrica recruits men and women to move to high-poverty communities within their own countries for a year, after successfully completing four weeks of training built around experiential learning to empower and equip Volunteers with the skills and mindsets they will need to be successful at their sites. Volunteers gain the community’s trust and understanding by engaging people in conversations and facilitating community meetings to identify and address changing and complex local needs in education, health, small business development, urban planning and infrastructure, agriculture, the environment, and more. They then initiate and facilitate projects that fulfill these key needs in their communities and whose impact and success can be carefully measured and monitored.”
Kristof was invited to give 4-days of training on various Permaculture tools which would be helpful to the volunteer’s service. The group discussed various global and local challenges which they would be facing in their work (e.g. food insecurity, climate change, poverty, access to resources, etc.), and then looked at how the 3 ethics of Permaculture (Earth Care, People Care, and Fair Share) could be implemented to empower communities to find locally-available solutions. Throughout the 4-days, the topics included: agroecology, natural resources, soil and water management, guilds, zones, patterns, and working with communities. CorpsAfrica bases their community development on a problem-solving approach known as ‘Human-Centered Design‘ (also known as ‘Design Thinking‘), which perfectly compliments the ‘Design Thinking’ of Permaculture. The trainees still have two more weeks of pre-service training to complete, and we are hoping that they will be able to come for a tour of Never Ending Food before heading off to their various sites.