Lightning flashed, thunder cracked and rain poured from the sky. The boat rocked dangerously as huge storm waves splashed on the deck. The little captain took a deep belly breath to steady himself and calm the fast beating of his heart so that he could thinking clearly. He held the steering wheel firmly in his hands and guided the boat through the terrible thunderstorm to quieter waters. He loved being in charge of his ship, he enjoyed knowing exactly what to do. The dark clouds had dispersed and a few stars shone brightly in the sky. The waves were calm and gentle, and so was his breathing, now that the danger had passed. Looking out over the peaceful sea at night, with the light of the moon dancing across the ripples, he relaxed and smiled.
What is it?
ISSA members Sardes (the Netherlands) and the Neohumanist Education Association (AEN, Romania) developed this Peer Learning Activity (PLA) as a 2-day joint learning activity about the role of yoga and meditation techniques in stimulating young children’s Executive Function and Self-Regulation. The starting point is The Little Captain, developed by Sardes as a professional development package that helps preschool teachers to stimulate children’s Executive Function and Self-Regulation.
The Children in Permaculture partners met in Scotland, in September 2017 for a practical peer-to-peer learning experience. Each partner organised a learning experience in the outdoors for children from the local schools of Gatehouse and Twynholm. It was an opportunity to test out activities designed within the “Children in Permaculture” curriculum and receive feedback from peers, teachers and most importantly, the children.
Activities organised by the CiP team included creating a rainwater catchment system on a greenhouse, learning about birds, storytelling and play in the forest, puppet play, making a wormery and many more. Many of the successful activities will be included in the teacher’s manual that the team is busy editing.
As the group of 19 Scottish school children from the “Children in Permaculture” (CiP) project, all wearing matching green baseball hats, waited in the Otopeni airport in Bucharest for their delayed flight home, they decided to use the opportunity to interview each other about their experience over the previous five days in Romania.
“It was the chance of a lifetime,” enthused one of the boys, “I hope to come back, and meet all my friends again.”
“I really loved the Romania trip” another girl said, then proceeding to list her favorite memories of the trip.
“I got to learn a lot about permaculture and the ethics and principles. It was great fun!”
“I hope to come back with my family, because I think they would really like it too.”
What made the experience so memorable?
Every day was packed with learning through novel adventures, exploration and hands-on outdoor activities in nature. It was not your typical touristic trip, visiting monuments and museums. Rather, the children had an experience from the “inside”, playing alongside Romanian children their own age at the “Fountain of Hope” afterschool center in Panatau, a small rural village in the mountains of Buzau county.
From May 15- 19, the Neohumanist Education Association hosted an exchange experience for 30 children from Gatehouse and Tynholm Scotland, to learn more about permaculture and experience Romanian traditions and agriculture. The project was part of the “Children in Permaculture” project, funded by Erasmus Plus.
Ana Racheleanu published an article about the experience in Green Report.
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
Sociocracy is an easy to learn, systematic process for facilitating group dynamics that encourages full participation, shared responsibility and greater efficiency in decision making. It is based on the idea that each of us has a valuable perspective, and that the best decisions find ways to include everyone in the process, thus drawing on the collective wisdom of the whole group. Sociocracy has been effectively utilized to run everything from international Erasmus projects, to eco-villages to an electric engineering company. Find out more here.
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.