Community

PDC in Giza, Egypt

Permaculture Design Course: 10-Day Full Permaculture Design Course (PDC), Giza, Egypt – (14th-25th February, 2013)   (Please note that this course is not run by PRI Sunshine Coast, we are just promoting this course here. Please direct any enquiries to the course organisers — details in downloadable brochure)   An international Permaculture Design Course (PDC) is being hosted by Nawaya in a rural area close to Cairo in Egypt. It is a great opportunity to learn about permaculture in a country like Egypt during such dynamic times of change. This is the first time a PDC is held in Egypt, bringing in a diversity of local knowledge to be merged with internationally renowned instructors: Rod Everett and Mill Milichap. The PDC will take place in Giza, Egypt from February 14th to 25th 2013, at Nawaya’s permaculture demonstration site at the Fagnoon Art School near the town of Abusir (35 km from Cairo; 20-minute drive from Cairo) near the Sakkara plateau necropolis. The PDC is a 72-hour intensive hands-on course that equips students with the practical skills to design and regenerate any site or landscape, regardless of the size or purpose, be it a farm, a home, a flat, a neighborhood, or a city, using the ethics and principals of permaculture.    Lead Instructor: Dr. Rod Everett   Assistant Instructor: Mill Millichap   Dates: February 14th to 25th, 2013   Location: Giza, Egypt   Venue: Nawaya permaculture demonstration site in Fagnoon Art School   Cost: €600 (Potential for discount for Egyptian local residents)   Includes: Course fees, food and accommodation for 10 days   Lodging: Camping(Only tents will be provided. Students should bring their own sleeping bag, pillow and gear)   Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and 2 snacks (mid morning & afternoon). food will be catered for by the Abusir community.   Download course flyer here.   The Course:   The course will result in full Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC). 72 hours of tuition will be held in English with specialist terminology translation offered in Arabic. This intensive course requires participants’ full attendance; therefore, even local attendees are expected to stay on site, camping or guest house. PDC usually requires this as the course content is intensive and dependent on building a strong sense of community throughout the group learning. PDC graduates expect to leave having developed new supporting networks for continuing their journey towards a more resilient and conscious life approach.   The PDC will explore all aspects of sustainable systems and their design, from food growing to sustainable housing and communities, alternative energy, money systems and much more. It is based around Developing a hands on understanding through a practical and locally applied application of permaculture ethics and design principles. Throughout the course the teachers will build on the knowledge and practical experience of the course participants using creative teaching techniques. Course content includes:   • Permaculture Principals • Nature observation   • Patterns and design • Energy generation   • Landscape analysis • Energy cycling   • Building soil fertility • Transport   • Water harvesting • Economics   • Waste recycling • Nutrition and health   • Sustainable buildings • Natural medicines   • Passive solar heating and cooling • Arid-Landscapes   • Rocket stoves • Social challenges   • Companion planting   Egypt faces some of the world more challenging agricultural problems – during the course the permaculture principle will inspire the group to think and learn about ways in dealing with real life problems farmers face including:   • Loss of good farming practices in Egypt, and loss of farming skills especially amongst youth.   • Farmers have very small plots of land, less than an acre and have very low incomes.   • Water is not always available and frequently polluted with sewage and or agricultural runoff (very little rain).   • Seeds are either imported or hybrids, and recently GMO (although not known to public in Egypt).   • Soil has become totally leached and highly saline, years of chemical use has meant that soil is almost dead.   • Loss of community and a sense of working together.   • Dependency on the government for electricity and fuel for cooking, mainly natural gas in canisters.   • TV has totally brainwashed young people and has made them dependent losing touch with the outdoors, farming and sense of togetherness.   • Eating habits that are more similar to the USA, one of the highest rates of obesity in the region.   The Instructors:   Dr. Rod Everett, has been teaching and practicing permaculture for over 28 years. He runs a 100 hectare farm in Lancashire called Middle Wood. The farm is also home to a small community and a charitable trust which runs a variety of courses on sustainable living. He teaches in a dynamic, hands-on often rather unconventional way capturing people’s imaginations and allowing them to think outside the box.   Mill Milichap, has been a tireless campaigner for the environment for over 40 years and has been a permaculture teacher for the past 12 years. Mill established the Isle of Man Permaculture Association; he has also been heavily involved in Greenpeace and the Transition movement. He has helped many people along their way to find and acquire land and has played a vital role as facilitator for people who want to live a low impact lifestyle. He also helps them to design their projects using permaculture principles. He grows and sells a vast range of organic vegetables in both allotments and polytunnels. He created a permaculture garden at a local primary school; this is now fully functional and provides the school with much of its fruit and veg.   The Organizers:   Nawaya is an Egyptian social initiative focusing on rural development and sustainable agriculture. Nawaya’s team consists of young professionals, inspired by the Revolution to collaborate with partners as diverse as the challenges faced by rural Egypt. They are proponents of sustainable agriculture as the core driver for productive communities that flourish from the bottom-up. Their initiative, “Nawaya”, recognizes the need for development goals that are pro-poor and promote social and environmental justice.Nawaya’s vision is the co-creation of self-reliant, bountiful and resilient Egyptian communities. Co-creation occurs when partnerships and dynamic knowledge-exchange focus on common goals determined by community needs. Nawaya’s working approach has 3 steps: community participation in program design, education and training, and hands-on prototyping. Each step Nawaya takes is validated through community feedback, and its hub for research and innovation seeks to create community-centric, open-source, replicable models.   The PDC will be the first agricultural demonstration set up at Nawaya. The group aims to empower farming communities in Egypt through a number of projects: The agricultural demonstration plot will be the basis for Nawaya’s upcoming farmer to farmer apprenticeship program – a 2 year intensive program for young farmers applying the concept of sustainability to their farming and livelihood practices.In addition, Nawaya hosts Composting and Effective Microorganisms workshops with city dwellers interested in more green living practice, whilst connecting to the country side in sharing with farmers and community members of Abusir.   The Nawaya demonstration plot is donated by the Fagnoon Art Center and through Nawaya’s future program, will showcase replicable models for eco-friendly rural development practice and appropriate low-cost technology. Nawaya will also link up with Eco-villages to inspire locally appropriate solutions to Abusir and create replicable models for other rural areas in Egypt.   The Venue:   The PDC will take place at Nawaya’s site situated at Fagnoon Art School in Abusir, Giza, Egypt (20-minute drive from Cairo). Nawaya has been working with Fagnoon to set up a hands on demonstration center that will be a hub for ongoing community-based innovations that optimize local Abusir skills and resources into products and services that are profitable, serve community needs and restore the surrounding environment.  The Nawaya team is working on setting up a permanent permaculture demonstration center on the piece of land donated by Fagnoon that would serve as a beacon of sustainability in Egypt. The PDC will assist Nawaya in creating curricula and educational programs through a series of trainings that culminate into building training center that will integrate into its design solutions for locally identified problems, showcasing sustainable and integrated farming practices, as well as grey and black water treatment, low-cost technologies for energy production and appropriate building techniques. Fagnoon will host Egypt’s first low cost and eco-efficient training center, where techniques and materials for sustainability in architecture will be piloted. Nawaya is particularly interested in experimenting in the future with strawbale, a potential building and insulation materials now considered invaluable agricultural waste.   Fagnoon, the host of the Nawaya site is a creative center and art school situated in the outskirt of Cairo; right by the Saqqara pyramids in Giza. It is an oasis in the city dessert offering creative activities and a physical outlet for children and adults alike. Fagnoon was founded by Mohamed Allam, an Egyptian artist who had a vision of having an ideal society where there is freedom of expression, respect for the environment and respect for one another. The word Fagnoon itself is a combination of two interesting words in Arabic: Fonoon (art) and Gonoon (wild). It is a place for families to play, run, dance, paint, draw, as well as try out a bouquet of crafts including pottery, carpentry, agriculture, baking, jewelry making, iron smithy, and much more.   Location: Abusir, Giza, Egypt   Abusir is an Egyptian farming community in the Nile Valley, situated in a valley next to the Abu Sir Pyramid site on the desert plateau, 10 km (7 miles) south of Giza and around 1 km north of Saqqara. Situated a convenient 35 km south of the Egyptian capital Cairo, and is also a part of the path of pyramid fields, running along the river Nile. Fagnoon is located on some of the last remaining green patches close to Cairo. Abusir itself is a large village of approximately 40,000 people – off the beaten track and the best way to experience country life and how its changing in Egypt. The town is a patchwork of modern and traditional lifestyles, with everything from street markets to weekend clubs, cyber cafes, loud wedding and deserted archeological sites.

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