24 November, 2022

Forging Ubuntu: “I am because we are”

The power of de-gendering volunteering for climate justice in Africa

I learned a lot of things: how climate change has affected nature and its surroundings, and about permaculture being a solution. I am already on the ground implementing what l learned. How to make a hot compost was a mystery, now I am busy doing my own 18-day hot compost! – training participant

In October 2022, SAVWA (South Africa Volunteer Workcamps Association) hosted a group of 16 young volunteers from 6 SCI partner organisations in Sub-Saharan Africa. They met in Pretoria for a training which combined discussions on the challenges of gender inequalities and climate change in their respective communities, with hands-on training in permaculture. 

The training was part of a project called Forging Ubuntu: the power of de-gendering volunteering for climate justice in Africa, funded by UNESCO’s Participation Programme. It brings together VWAN (Nigeria), SAVWA (South Africa), AJOV (Mozambique), New Hope Waves (Zambia), Kipepeo (Kenya) and ZWA (Zimbabwe).

6 follow-up actions will follow the training in Pretoria, which is when the participants will have the chance to implement and share their new knowledge and skills with their communities. Follow us for more updates!

Hear more about the training with the reflections of 2 participants, Dineo Maphasha and Zanele Pedze:

Forging Ubuntu was a training that took place in Pretoria, South Africa. Focusing on gender inequalities and climate justice, this project looked at sharing our knowledge and expertise across the African organisations with the support of SCI International. With the issue of Gender, I had an opportunity to share some of the knowledge I have gained, demonstrating through a piece of legislative theatre role play during one of the sessions.

Photo taken during the training in Pretoria

Climate justice discussions led to sessions on permaculture. They focused on what it consists of, and how one can start permaculture on a small scale. This was important as we had all identified that across our countries, permaculture could make a big difference in helping individuals and communities live from their backyards. A big part of the project was being able to get into SAVWA’s (South Africa Volunteer Workcamps Association) garden, get practical and see exactly how to start up permaculture and plant different vegetables. We learned how to make sure they coexist with others, and about the different flowers that play a big role in the garden. It was great to learn that permaculture doesn’t disturb the environment and organic compost is used and not pesticides or harmful chemicals. This training equipped us with the necessary skills to host permaculture workshops in our own communities. By Dineo Maphasha

To me the Forging Ubuntu training course was an eye opener to issues that youth in Africa are facing. We face a huge unemployment crisis with nearly 70% of youth sitting at home and doing nothing. With this opportunity, we could bring youth from South Africa, Zambia, Mozambique, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Nigeria to share issues on Gender inequalities and learn practical lessons on permaculture. We had an enlightening chance to complete hands on tough work, putting into practice some action which we will be able to follow up with local actions in our respective organisations too.

photo taken during the training in Pretoria

This really was a good opportunity to share ideas with other fellow partners, create networks and plans for future cooperation, and increase sustainability for youth exchange within our region itself and continent at large. By Zanele Pedze

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