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Hakuna Matata
Hakuna Matata
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Subuiga, Isiolo, Isiolo District, KE
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Hakuna Matata

Hakuna Matata

Isiolo, KE

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Adam Dusen Andrew Cronin Franko Göhse João Gonçalves JULIUS M. MARETE Matthias Geßmann Paul Tan Simon Addison

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December Permaculture Course in Kenya

Project: Hakuna Matata

Posted by Martin Korndoerfer over 11 years ago

We were able to raise the funds to send Muriungi (Julius) to a Permaculture Design Course that was held near Nairobi. This is what Muriungi learnt at this course.

Permaculture is a key element and guiding philosophy of Hakuna Matata. For those of you who are unfamiliar with permaculture, it stands for permanent agriculture and permanent culture. It is a holistic design science aimed at creating sustainable no-waste systems. An introductory course in permaculture known as a 'Permaculture Design Course' (PDC) is offered worldwide to give people a strong foundation in permaculture and enable them to begin designing permaculture systems. Although some of our board members have attended this course, unfortunately up until now none of our on-the-ground staff has had any permaculture training. Fortunately for us, this last December the Permaculture Research Institute of Kenya conducted its first PDC in the country. With the donations from the Thanksgiving fundraiser and a generous partial scholarship from PRI Kenya, we were able to have our executive director, Julius, attend the PDC. The PDC was facilitated by renowned international teacher Warren Brush from Quail Springs alongside local teachers who added specialized knowledge and local wisdom to the course. The 72 hour course (intensively taught in 2 weeks) earned Julius the internationally recognized Permaculture Design Certificate.

The course was held at Nyumbani Village, which is in the process of realizing its permaculture design. The design already features simple greywater systems for all houses, an agroforestry system, and an aquaponics system. Nyumbani Village is the realization of the vision of the late Fr. Angelo D’Agostino to create a self-sustaining community to serve orphans and elders who have been left behind by the HIV pandemic. The village provides a family-like setting for orphaned children under the stewardship of elderly adults and seeks to ensure that the children receive love; sustenance; healthcare; holistic education and culture transfer aiming at their physical, psychosocial and spiritual development; and, at the same time, providing holistic care and support for the grandparents in their later years. Through group homes and community services, the viillage seeks to harness the energy of youth and the maturity of elders to create new blended families that foster healing, hope and opportunity. The village also seeks to ensure that the residents in the surrounding communities reach a certain level of self-reliance through the village sustainability program.

Nyumbani Village stands on one thousand acres of land donated by the Kitui District County Council. The Village is located three hours east of Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. The site is within the poorest division in the Kitui District and has a high incidence of HIV and a high number of HIV orphans. When complete, the village will accommodate approximately 1000 orphans and 100 grandparents living in 100 dwelling units each with a grandparent and 8 -10 children. The course covered subjects such as permaculture farming techniques, food forestry/agroforestry, working with different soils and climates, water harvesting techniques, ecological sanitation, composting methods, biodiversity, appropriate technologies, design methods, and carried a practical component where the students helped with the implementation and furthering of the permaculture design at Nyumbani. The design project done individually and in teams introduced participants to concepts of creative problem solving as a learning process, different approaches to problem solving and individual learning styles and how to use these tools effectively in teamwork.

Alongside Kenyans who are working in various organizations, many international participants attended the course as well. There were participants from Liberia, USA, Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Guatemala and Australia. This diversity provided an opportunity for Julius to network and learn from inspiring experiences of people working in similar projects to Hakuna Matata. We have no doubts that the knowledge, experience, and networking gained from this course will pay great dividends. In the not so far away future, we intend to create a permaculture design for the Hakuna Matata site that we will be excited to share with you all.

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