Making a Lasting Impact
Sheena was part of the Permaculture Research Institute Kenya for seven years, eventually leading that organization until late 2018. She was fully involved with permEzone’s Founder, Hugh Kelly in assessing and bringing to fruition both phases of the programme since its inception, and has continued to monitor field activities and provide assistance to the teams. We are excited that Sheena has agreed to take on the lead role at permEzone with the hearty support of the entire team.
Hugh comments: Sheena’s huge wealth of experience as a teacher, with hundreds of beneficiaries from their permaculture trainings now putting their skills to good use, her wide network of contacts in the permaculture community in East Africa, her practical experience helping people in her own community re-imagine and re-vitalize their living spaces and offering young and upcoming practitioners part time employment in permaculture consultancy, her organizational experience as a past Director of PRI-Kenya, and her keen appreciation of the importance of this phase-change in rural development and enthusiasm for taking this work forward, mean that we are extremely fortunate that she has agreed to accept this responsibility, and can look forward with confidence to seeing permEzone expand and start to benefit more and more farmers and their families and communities.
We would not be able to do any of this without the support of individuals and friends who have generously contributed to the permEzone over the last few years. Your contributions have enabled demonstrated impact and an enormous reach within communities. We cannot express enough how humbled we are.
Stories from the field this season:
Paul comments: Climate change has an enormous effect as far as farming activities on this community. In the past the community could predict when the rainy season would begin and when they would end. But then climate change has interfered with those patterns and they have become unpredictable. This has led to food and nutrition insecurity in many households. Luckily, there is a remedy for this and that is embracing permaculture as a framework for change. Once we started talking about other alternatives and started to share traditional practices, we started to see the farmers being reminded of these practices. We knew that if we could implement these practices, the community would start to become more resilient over time and we are starting to see these shifts already.
Asumbi is a region that suffers from drought due to climate change effects. Through permaculture practices the effects can be minimized. With the farmers we are working with in this project, there is a huge difference between their harvest and those who don’t practice permaculture. This is an important time for us to help bring about more change through actual model sites.
John is seeing a huge difference in yield through companion planting, ground cover and canopy layers.
Paul and Stephen
Early indications are that the participating farmers in Sanje are already seeing a significant improvement in the income from their farms, and we look forward to sharing more about this major impact in the lives of this community of farmers in future newsletters!
Mr. Wilson Sennyondo, the cooperative chairman comments: permaculture has brought togetherness in our community, each family is now supporting one another to overcome challenges together, whilst creating abundance in their homes and lives through this practice. We will start to change in communities as this continues to build on further.
BEU’s Lead Coordinator, Charles Mugarura is excited to see the development come through. Here he is experiencing the joy with one of the lead farmers, John Segirinya with his recent pumpkin harvest, weighing in at 18kgs and 80cm wide!! John’s harvests have increased tremendously after implementing permaculture and organic techniques on his farm.
John comments: I have never seen this kind of harvest in my life with simple actions just by making compost and creating healthier soil. Permaculture has made life simpler for me and I am starting to see the reap of it. My family is harnessing these simple techniques and we are all managing better waste management at household level, seeing that waste is also a huge commodity and can be plowed back in.
Harriet Nassolo, one of the lead farmers, is already starting to model her understanding of permaculture thus far in her own home.
Harriet comments: “Connecting to nature again is connecting to way of life that is working in harmony with one another. I see possibilities now through this way of learning and can envision a much brighter future for myself and my family. Working in a group setting is helping me learn much faster and discover more solutions than working on my own.”
Monitoring & Evaluation
Paul Omollo, from CMRA in Western Kenya, is preparing for his trip to Uganda at the end of November. This will be his first trip to visit the BEU team in Uganda who have taken on permEzone’s phase 2. This marks a pivotal review of both programmes. They will be engaged in field visits there to meet some of the farmers that BEU is working with, and will have the opportunity to exchange some of their experiences in the field so far.
As we approach Giving Season...
Community Mobilization for Regenerative Agriculture, Migori County, Western Kenya
Broadfield Enterprise Uganda, Sanje, Uganda