EAST AFRICA PERMACULTURE PROJECT UPDATE – Written by Joash Barasa, Field Lead
Permaculture brings improvement in rural Kenyan communities in two main ways. First, it provides abundant food production and secondly, it provides support and training for single mothers in permaculture design. This in turn brings food sovereignty to the families in the community. Permaculture food is purely organic, resulting in the highest quality food for children’s nutrition which in turn, helps them perform better at school.
For example, one of the women working onsite at one of our projects has taken on 4 orphans in addition to her own 5 children. Her husband left her because of this, so it is now up to her (Monica) to struggle for her entire family because there is no other person to support her. She was left with a financial predicament, food predicament and health issues too. Monica has been doing casual work in order to sustain her family. This woman is happy because of permaculture. Permaculture has brought light, love, health, food, education, and weekly earnings.
For another woman working on the permaculture project, it has helped eliminate psychological problems, mental issues, and high blood pressure.
These women are getting green vegetables and other food because we have an abundant harvest – green peas, yams, Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, tree tomatoes, tomatoes, yellow beans, and fruits.
Single mothers benefit the most when permaculture is in the community. A mother is the pillar in the family. If there is no food, the children question the mother, not father. If the child is angry, he/she will question his mother, not the father.
For those supporting this program, know that you have saved the life of young children and single mothers in these communities.
As the one who is working on the ground, I take a community approach. I talk with them in their households, so I understand what is going on – especially in the marginalized communities. Permaculture is the pillar of the community.
In permaculture we believe in growing food without any kind of chemicals. We feed the soil and the soil feeds the plants. The plants feed the human essence. In other words, we grow food naturally.
With the support of ICO, we are saving single mothers and orphans in marginalized communities. In permaculture we produce no waste. We utilize a method called sustainability, and sustainability has three “R’s.” Reduce, Recycle and Reuse. Nothing is wasted.
Rabbit urine is used as a pesticide. The Rabbit urine repels insect pests like aphids, mites, bugs, and leaf miners through its pungent small. The main benefit attributed to rabbit urine is that it is cheap and has a high level of nutrients through which plants derive nitrogen.
I take this opportunity to thank the entire ICO team and our valued donors to ensure that this program runs. People in the communities are learning and practicing these new skills at their own homestead and really value the opportunity.