Forging Ubuntu

The power of degendering volunteering for climate justice in Africa

August 2022 - March 2023

The background

The ‘Forging Ubuntu’ project seeks to strengthen practices among and between 6 of SCI’s partner organisations in Sub-Saharan Africa (see who they are and what they do at the bottom of the page).

It focuses on volunteering as a tool to address vulnerabilities stemming from gender inequalities and climate change. The project is intended to be a truly African-driven dynamic, bringing together volunteers from different parts of the continent to find and share practical solutions for problems facing their communities.

Climate change is a global challenge affecting the entire world and humanity as a whole. At a closer look, however, those most responsible for climate change, and those most affected by its consequences are not the same. Geographical location, economic status, means to act, and gender determine the vulnerability of individuals living today. In African contexts, there are areas where the effects are felt disproportionately.

The work of many of the participating organisations includes principles of permaculture and agroecology, as means of both mitigation and adaptation to climate change. Building resilient communities is an urgent priority, at the forefront of which is a need to strengthen the voices of women in rural communities. Forging Ubuntu aims to connect these priorities through hands-on action.

Forging Ubuntu logo, in black and dark green, along with the subheading : The power of degendering volunteering for climate justice in Africa
photo taken during the training in Pretoria

The objectives


Support participants in developing climate actions and workcamps in their communities


Create “multipliers”; individuals trained and ready to participate in and initiate gender equality programs


Share information on adaptation and mitigation of climate change and empower through self-help projects

The activities

Forging Ubuntu consists of two main elements: 1 international training, and 6 follow-up community actions

The training took place in October 2022, in Pretoria, South Africa, and addressed, in a hands-on way, the intersections of gender and climate justice for volunteering organisations and the communities they work with.

The 7-day hybrid training had 3 main aims:

    1. Better understand the relationship between climate change and gender inequality, and methods for resilience
    2. Gain hands-on experience in permaculture and share practices from the different organisations present
    3. Make a concrete plan for a follow-up action addressing gender inequality and climate justice

The follow-up actions will take place in the participants’ respective countries, from November 2022 to March 2023. The objective is to share the learning and practises from the Pretoria training, through a community action of their choice. The actions will range from permaculture workcamps to street actions for gender equality awareness.


    Forging Ubuntu: “I am because we are”

    Forging Ubuntu: “I am because we are”

    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. 

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    South Africa Volunteer and Workcamp Association, South Africa

    SAVWA aims to contribute towards the development of South African communities both urban and rural through empowerment work camp programs and promotion of sustainable development.

    SAVWA hosted the International Training of Forging Ubuntu in Pretoria, in October 2022.



    Kipepeo Community Empowerment Program was initiated to help spearhead community-driven development initiatives and empower needy community groups to participate and to achieve quality livelihood and be self-sustainable.


    Zimbabwe Workcamp Association, Zimbabwe

    ZWA is a youth volunteer organisation that focuses its work on education and community development.


    Associação dos Jovens Voluntários, Mozambique

    AJOV acts for community development. It supports youth, with civic education trainings, health awareness activities, and interculturality and exchange programmes, among other actions.


    Volunteer and Workcamp Association of Nigeria, Nigeria

    VWAN is active in the promotion of a culture of peace by organising international voluntary projects for people of all ages and backgrounds.

    New Hopes Waves


    New Hope Waves works among children, youth and their communities to empower them with skills, knowledge, educational and talent enhancement opportunities for the uplifting of the community, with improved living conditions for a hopeful future and a protected environment.


    International Secretariat, Belgium

    The IS supports SCI’s network in reaching its goals and amplifying its impact. The staff and volunteers provide different types of support for both the international movement and individual branches.


    The Forging Ubuntu project is co-funded by the UNESCO’s Participation Programme 2022-2023 and the Erasmus+ Programme of EACEA (European Education and Culture Executive Agency).