by Morag Gamble, Director: Ethos Foundation and the Permaculture Education Institute

Thank you so very much to the most generous support received from Permaculture Noosa members and participants of the February 2022 Club Night. What a wonderful night and a beautiful community spirit.

During the evening, exactly $1500 was raised for the Ethos Foundation. The Ethos Foundation is a registered Australian charity dedicated to supporting free permaculture education programs in vulnerable communities. Our particular focus is sponsoring full Permaculture Design Certificate courses led by local refugees in refugee settlements in East Africa (Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania) – for youth and for women, and for those who will mentor youth.

Ethos Foundation is directly linked with the Permaculture Education Institute, both led by Morag Gamble. Any refugee who can connect, is welcome to join the Permaculture Educators Program. There are also numerous refugee Permayouth hubs throughout the camps – making gardens, growing food, starting small enterprises, making music, and making a difference in their own lives and that of their families, and vulnerable members of their community.

Ethos Foundation always sends 100% of donations directly to the projects and courses. Morag personally covers any administration costs and spends much time each day talking directly with the project leaders across many camps.

The donation from Permaculture Noosa is going directly to support an entire class of Permayouth to gain their Permaculture Design Certificates in Kalobeyei Refugee Settlement in north-western Kenya (nearby to Kakuma refugee settlement). It is hot and dry, and the strategies they learn make an enormous difference in the kinds of foods that are grown, and the length of their growing season. Without these gardens, people have little access to fresh food – fresh vegetables – and consequently, suffer from malnutrition, stunting and hunger. They receive less than $10 a month to buy maize, dried beans and rice from aid agencies.

Many of the people in these camps are from the Democratic Republic of Congo – at the same time the richest and poorest country. Its wealth of forests and natural resources are immense, yet the people are dreadfully poor because of colonialism, global corporations’ extraction of mineral wealth (e.g., almost 70% of cobalt for lithium-ion batteries comes from DRC), government corruption and the loss of infrastructure and deep trauma from war. The conflict in the DRC is the world’s worst since the Second World War. More than 5.4 million people have been killed yet very little is being done to put an end to the hostilities. More than that have fled the country, where it remains unsafe.

The donation you have shared with the Ethos Foundation will be used to sponsor a class of 20 refugee youth in Kalobeyei, mostly from the DRC, to receive a local Permaculture Design Certificate education, and a kit of seeds and tools to start their own home garden – a little fresh vegetable garden or sack garden so they can access fresh food daily.

The leader of this course will be Sakina Kiriba. Sakina graduated in Uganda in 2018 from a permaculture teachers course sponsored by the Ethos Foundation. Morag met Sakina and has continued to work with her. She is a trusted and committed leader of the Permayouth programs in Kakuma and Kalobeyei, and the one who inspired a Permayouth music movement too!

The permaculture design course you have funded for a new class of Permayouth will start in February 2022.

Images Below:

Sakina Kiriba – Permaculture Educator, Kakuma and Kalobeyei Refugee Settlements, Kenya

Permaculture training programs for mentors and youth.

Sakina is building a new home. We discovered she was homeless and gathered community support so she can build a mud brick solar powered home (total $825). It will be a demonstration permaculture home and garden for the refugee camp.

The ambassador crew – the music group she inspired. (see video above)