Youth In Permacultue (YIP) is a new initiative to support and empower young people to create resilient, fulfilling and fun lives inspired by permaculture. Didi represented AEN at the first visioning meeting in Spain with organisations from many different countries in Europe and beyond.
Encouraged by Children in Permaculture (CIP), young people involved in permaculture and leaders from the permaculture community gathered, creating a team from over eight countries to begin this exciting project.
We have a web page with resources, tools, opportunities, networks, youth projects and voices. We’ve begun the planning stage of organizing events, activities, workshops and exchange programs and will send out surveys to people interested in supporting this project. For more information visit www.youthinpermaculture.org
On May 14th, 19 school children aged 11-12 from the Gatehouse School in Scotland will be boarding an airplane to meet the children of Fountain of Hope Afterschool Center, in Panatau, Buzau county. The Romanian children will introduce the Scottish students to Romanian village life and have a chance to share their specialized knowledge about traditional agriculture and sustainable practices that has been forgotten about in countries used to industrialized agriculture. The exchange experience is organised on the Romanian level by Asociatia Educatie Neoumanista, one of 5 international partner organisations within the “Children in Permaculture” Project, an Erasmus plus Strategic Project financed by the EU.
The visiting children will have the opportunity to experience and appreciate the beautiful richness of Romanian rural life. This is all the more relevant at a time when many young people all over the world are leaving rural villages that have maintained a more sustainable eco-friendly lifestyle for hundreds of years and are migrating to industrialized cities. The exchange aims to help both the Romanian and Scottish children to value rural lifestyle. Permaculture is a design system that is inspired by traditional agricultural practices that respect nature, and is attracting a new, younger generation all over the world towards sustainable rural living. It is guided by three main ethics: People care, Earth care and Fair share. The Children in Permaculture project is designing curriculum, and practical resources to bring ecological education to life in schools and support the new generation in developing a holistic connection and deep love and appreciation for nature. This is essential for creating hopeful futures in face of increasing environmental crisis.
Asociatia Educatia Neoumanista (AEN) is a partner in the Erasmus+ project “Children in Permaculture”.
Children in Permaculture is a 3-year project funded through Erasmus+ Key Action 2: School Education. The partnership is across 5 countries: UK, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovenia, and Italy.
CiP is an innovative project of international cooperation bringing together key educators (from different schools, nurseries, practices and countries) in order to cross-fertilise, share and synthesise ideas, which will strengthen the capacities of all involved.
This international exchange will develop, test, adapt and implement practices in permaculture education with children. It will:
- develop a permaculture curriculum suitable for children
- create well designed materials for educators
- collect and create an open education resource
- foster a cohesive society through learning with people from other countries and cooperation between formal and informal education settings
- share best practice and new perspectives on designing kindergartens and schools, and promote better outdoor learning experiences for children.
In our modern era, in which technology begins attacting children’s attention from their earliest experiences, how can we support children to nurture and sustain an authentic relationship with the natural world? This was the subject that Professor Ruai Gregory from the Blue Mountain College in Oregon addressed, in the series of workshops she held in Romania for teachers, volunteers and others working in the field of education. It is key to the long term survival of the planet, that the new generations develop not only respect but even more importantly, a deep sense of love for nature and its resources, and this is what Professor Gregory seeks to transmit to the children she works with.
The first workshop was held on September 21, 2015 at the AMURTEL Bio Garden in Poieni, and the second one took place in Bucharest at the Morningstar Center on September 23. Professor Gregory described the Nature Awareness Camp that she and her husband have been running for the past 15 years on the beautiful piece of property they own in the Oregon mountains. The children learn a set of “Nature Awareness skills”, which include learning to still their bodies and minds so that they can more fully open up all of their senses to observe and thus experience nature fully. Another important element in fostering a greater sense of connection to nature is through the process of naming. Giving names to trees, pathways, rocks personalizes the relationship. Professor Gregory says that even years later, children that have gone through her program may ask her with genuine interest and concern, “How is Grandmother Tree?” when they meet in town at the supermarket. Professor Gregory’s approach is simple but extremely effective and full of wisdom.
Already we have been incorporating the practice of naming things at our AMURTEL Garden, and when recently a guest visited she was amazed at how big the property seems to become when it is presented in this way – with something interesting to discover in each location.