12 April, 2023

Forging Ubuntu: How young leaders used permaculture as a tool for inclusion

An update on Forging Ubuntu

The end of 2022 meant the end of the Forging Ubuntu project. Let’s take a look back to everything that was done by all the partner organizations and what we can expect for the future. 

What is Forging Ubuntu? 

Ubuntu, literally humanity in Nguni languages (Zulu, Xhosa..) roughly translates to “I am because we are”. In a more abstract and philosophical sense, ubuntu is the belief in a universal bond, something intangible which connects all of us.

Here, ubuntu explained by Desmond Tutu, a South African bishop and human rights activist: 


In 2022, SCI with 6 partners from Zambia, South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Nigeria united to form stronger links between each other. With different activities, they worked together to address the intersections of gender and climate in their own communities.

In October 2022, a hands-on training took place in Pretoria, South Africa with participants, community leaders from all the partner organizations. You can find out more in this article

Follow-up activities

After that training in Pretoria, all participants went back to their countries and prepared local follow up actions. With the knowledge and experience they gained, each of them was able to manage either a street action on raising awareness on gender or three-week permaculture workcamp welcoming up to 50 people. 

Katembe Nsime, Mozambique

Workcamp on permaculture, climate change for justice, gender equality, December 2022

This 12-day work camp took place in Nsine, in the Matuítuine District, Mozambique, gathering a total of 42 participants, 80% of whom were female participants. It focused on learning and sharing permaculture practices.

Adil Sadeia, a community leader who participated in the training in Pretoria, led the camp and shared his learnings from his training a month before. During the camp, participants shared their belief in the importance of youth involvement to attain climate justice. They also debated on gender equality. Participants learned how to prepare compost, how to create an irrigation system and how to make beds in small spaces in order to grow food. 

Livingstone, Zambia

New Hope Waves follow-up actions on gender equality and permaculture, December 2022

The New Hope Waves team organized a workshop centered on the necessity of gender equality and how the community will benefit from it. The group of participants, made of a diversity of men, women, young people, also benefited from a hands-on permaculture training.

Chaseyama, Zimbabwe

Moving from Rhetoric to Action – Hands On-Agroecology, Permaculture, Design, Climate Colonisation and Gender Inclusion, November and December 2022

After the return of the Zimbabwe Workcamp Association from the training in Pretoria, a two-week follow-up action was organized, in order to spread and share their knowledge and new skills. 

The first week was focused on discussions and debates, on topics such as gender inclusion and climate colonization. Participants and volunteers were able to talk about these concepts, some for the first time. It allowed an exchange of experiences and new ideas.

Eruwa, Nigeria

December 2022

The workcamp in Nigeria gathered young people from the whole country. The group had a discussion around climate change, permaculture and agriculture with an academic expert. They also had a session on gender that brought diverse perspectives on the topic together.

The participants also had practical activities to experience different ways of planting and cropping.

Soshanguve, South Africa

Forging Ubuntu SAVWA Workshop and Workcamp, November and December 2022

SAVWA organized both a one-day workshop and a 14-day workcamp to follow up on the training in Pretoria. 

The aim of the workshop was to bring young people together, who can sometimes feel isolated from one another in the community, to encourage them to think collectively, to give them a space and time to do it and to be involved in the community.

The workcamp included young people from that workshop, community and SAVWA volunteers and two international volunteers, from Portugal and Italy. That mix was judged as beneficial for everyone as it allowed for diverse debate and peer-learning. Overall, these follow-up activities permitted to create debate, give a platform to young people, raise some issues in the community and brainstorm about ways to improve.

Luanda sub-county, Kenya

Empowerment of small holder farmers through permaculture and gender advocacy in Luanda sub-county, December 2022

As a follow-up action, Kipepeo gathered local small-holder farmers from their community. The aim was to share what was learned in Pretoria about permaculture to empower the participants to grow and develop their farm in a sustainable way (sustainable both with the environment and as a means of living). The project also aimed at intentionally including women, to empower them with necessary skills and knowledge and to give them a platform to be a part of the decision making. The team used for instance the Gender Tool Kit during the training.

Kipepeo wishes to provide a Permaculture Design Course in the future to all people needing it in the community. This activity was a great way to start it.

You can follow these partner organisations on social media for more updates on their everyday activities!

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