This project will help to create a network of highly skilled permaculture teachers across South East Europe. They will work locally to help people build sustainable livelihoods and communities in ways that protect and enhance the rich natural environment of South East Europe. This will be achieved through a scholarship fund that will help local permaculture designers and practitioners get the skills and confidence to teach permaculture in their communities.
South East Europe is incredibly rich in environmental resources and cultural diversity. But the legacy of the Soviet era, the wars of the 1990s and the financial crisis of recent years mean that the region is financially poor in relation to its western and northern neighbours. This has led to a gradual process of migration, economic stagnation and in some cases full blown economic collapse. And it has left outdated and polluting infrastructure.
Permaculture is all about solutions, positive action and hope. It’s a design philosophy that helps people to make the most of the resources they have around them to start small businesses, build efficient homes, plant productive gardens and farms and build communities - all in harmony with nature. In a region where 20% unemployment is typical, such strategies for self-reliance and community resilience are particularly important. And because permaculture promotes sustainable lifestyles, the rich natural environment of the region will be nurtured and protected.
The good news is that permaculture is becoming firmly established in the region. More and more people want to learn about permaculture and use it in their daily lives. But demand for permaculture courses is growing more quickly than the supply of teachers. More teachers are needed but there is currently nobody in the region with the skills to train them. This means that teacher training in South East Europe currently depends on teachers from other, richer countries. This makes the training too expensive for locals, even with some subsidies. This in turn is limiting the speed at which permaculture can grow and make a difference in this region.
South East Europe Permaculture Teachers Scholarship Fund
This project will establish a scholarship fund for permaculture teachers in the making. This will give some financial support to people with a proven commitment to practicing and permaculture and sharing their knowledge, and who want to take their practice to the next level. This support will allow them to attend permaculture teacher training courses delivered locally by foreign teachers. And it will ensure that foreign teachers can earn fair wages for the work they do. As the number of permaculture teachers in South East Europe increases, a regional network will emerge, allowing teachers to offer mutual support. In the longer term, local teachers will develop the skills to train other teachers, removing dependency on outside help.
Who is Involved?
This project is a partnership between the Permaculture Association (Britain) and the Croatian Permaculture Association. We already have some funding from Erasmus+ and the Gaia Trust to cover foreign teachers’ travel and subsistence costs.
The scholarship fund will be open to applicants from countries across South East Europe: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey and Ukraine.
If our campaign exceeds our target, we will redistribute some of the surplus to support these other permaculture teacher training initiatives:
- European Permaculture Teachers Partnership (small contribution to web hosting costs)
- Rosemary Morrow's 'Teaching Permaculture Teachers' (contribution to crowdfunding campaign)