Peace Corps Permagarden Training – Ethiopia

This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION.

This project has been completed as designed and within budget.

Peace Corps Permagarden Training - EthiopiaThe fourth training of our Permagarden Training Initiative – Worldwide will take place in February 2018. Peter Jensen will train Peace Corps Volunteers and staff in Ethiopia with his Terra Firma Permagardens for Empowerment and Resilience course. Here is an outline of what we intend to accomplish in this monumental initiative to spread permaculture technology across the globe.

What: Community Health Pre-Service Training (‘Terra Firma’ Permagarden Sessions)

Where: Butajira, Ethiopia

When: February 14 – 24, 2018

Who: 33 Community Health PCTs, 3 Resource PCVs, 6 Program Staff, 5 Support Staff

Peace Corps Ethiopia requested assistance in the delivery of the essential Permagarden Creation sessions for its incoming Community Health Volunteers during their 4th week of Pre-Service Training, to be held in Butajira, Ethiopia. We are happy to enable this crucial effort.

Sessions will be held each day from 4-6 pm and will be co-facilitated by trained program staff partnered with Resource PCVs with at least one year of experience. Staff will receive refresher facilitation training from 10-12 each morning. Staff and Trainees will gain confidence and practical skills on water management, soil health, and nutrition-focused vegetable production, within an intense intercultural environment.

Peace Corps Permagarden Training - EthiopiaThe 33 PCTs will be divided into 3 groups where they will be living with homestay families in the villages surrounding the city of Butajira. This will keep groups to around 10. Each group will be team-taught by previously trained (but reinforced) Health Program Staff and experienced Resource PCVs.

Peter will rotate between the 3 groups to monitor and evaluate and troubleshoot only as necessary. The goal here is to build upon the previous training so that the Health team can feel as confident as the Ag team. The Ag Team is fully prepared to provide this Permagarden training on its own following from several previous trainings he has delivered with them.

Peter will address the Ag PCTs in a whole group session to highlight the role of the Terra Firma process and the linkage to Water Charity for future water catchment or sanitation projects later in their service.

Terra Firma Permagardens are family-oriented, nutrition-focused, climate-smart, organic gardens. They serve as the missing link between seasonal agricultural production and the daily, nutrient-dense, food consumption needs of marginalized rural, urban and peri-urban families. In order to achieve daily nutrition security of mother, child, and extended family, agricultural techniques must be ‘climate-smart’. This concept forms the key pillars of any Permagarden Training: Adaptation, Mitigation, and Intensification.

These goals have a number of critical action steps which are small and doable following the Rule of CLOSE so as to achieve attitude and eventual behavior change amongst those directly trained and those who shall be trained within the community outreach program that will follow the training via the PCVs and their village counterparts. These actions from the basis of the Terra Firma Method: Assess, Capture, Protect, Produce, Manage.

Peace Corps Permagarden Training - EthiopiaAll ‘Terra Firma’ actions are close to the home, locally sourced, organic, small and easy so as to achieve a “53-week” harvest cycle by even the most marginalized individuals. This is achieved through the rational, step by step, water management strategy whereby the subsoil becomes the cistern. The Six Steps of Successful Water Management form a further key theme throughout this practical training: Stop, Slow, Sink, Spread, Save and Shade. With these steps practiced, observed and maintained, the severity of both climate and climate change is mitigated for long-term landscape and nutritional resilience.

The training methodology is designed to reach resilient family-based daily nutrition security, resilient water, and landscape management, and increased maternal income.

Specific topics include compost and carbon soil food, berms and swales, and soil health and double digging.

Three permagardens will be created during the training that maximizes water capture and nutrition. This will serve as models for future projects.

An outreach plan for Peace Corps Ethiopia, along with recommendations for monitoring and evaluation of outcomes and impacts, will be prepared.

Peace Corps Volunteers will gain facilitation skills to enable them to effectively teach vulnerable family members or small groups on how to create and manage Climate-Smart, Nutrition-Focused Permagardens in Ethiopia.

Peace Corps Ethiopia will provide all transportation while in Ethiopia, all local materials required for the training sessions, and all costs of the Peace Corps Staff and Trainees.

Water Charity funds will provide funds for all other costs necessary to carry out the training.

Although this project has been fully funded by an anonymous donor, your contribution using the button below will be used for our next permaculture training project in Africa.

This project was completed as designed and within budget.