GPI has been working with local communities for several years. They have supported over 5,000 farmers and through their networks have propagated and planted over a million trees. They are now taking their work to the next level.
About the Project
This 3-year project is building a demonstration site and education centre, where the Institute will teach farmers and deliver permaculture training. The project contributes to the reduction of poverty in rural areas and to the sovereignty of African peasants. It is supported by Soned e.V and financed by the Heidehof foundation and the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
Demonstration Site & Education Centre
The demonstration site is based on 12 hectares of degraded land in the centre of Ghana. A rainwater catchment system, tree nursery, food forest, living fences, mushroom propagation lab and small scale processing plant have already been established on the site. These provide a small level of income to support the project.
The next phase will see a new learning centre with a seminar hall big enough for 80 people and accommodation for 50 students, a kitchen and dining hall.
“A building made from old tyres demonstrates how waste materials can be reused creatively”
Main Educational activities
Basic Nutritional Education
Despite the abundance of local resources, access to healthy food is a challenge. This is due in part to insufficient knowledge about the basis for balanced nutrition. We propose a simple formula to help inhabitants understand the basics of nutrition: 'Go' for foods that provide energy (e.g. fats and carbohydrates), 'Grow' for structure (Protein, minerals and other and micro-nutrients), and 'Glow' for protective action (vitamins etc).
Sustainable Waste Management
Local inhabitants will learn about how different waste materials can be reused and recycled in the most ecologically beneficial ways. This includes composting both crop residues and human waste for soil improvement.
Permaculture Training & Practical Workshops
One of the Institute's main priorities is to train people to use the permaculture design approach. They will also run a range of themed workshops including:
Mushroom Cultivation Workshop
Students will learn how to propagate and cultivate mushrooms, maximise yields and how to market and sell their produce.
Participants will learn about the bees' characteristics and needs, correct maintenance and the care of hives, how to generate additional products such as beeswax and propolis. They will also learn how to market and sell the full range of bee-related products.
Students will learn about the numerous edible, medicinal, cosmetic and disinfectant products, as well as the ecological and soil fertility benefits of this local “wonder tree”. They will be able to describe how products made from the tree's leaves, seeds and bark can meet a range of needs locally, without the need for expensive imported alternatives.
“Moringa products can provide a vital source of income for local people”
All the above workshops will also focus on building skills for small-scale business, thereby improving local economic sovereignty and resilience. Workshops will not be confined to the education centre: in total there will be over 90 workshops in 20 locations around Ghana.
NetworkingThere is existing permaculture activity in West Africa, for example in neighbouring Togo where a Permaculture Design Course took place recently. The Ghana Permaculture Institute will link to this activity, identify and develop regional relationships and synergies. It will be a significant regional player, enabling the West African network to cohere, thereby supporting mutual inspiration, learning (with a particular emphasis on promoting experimental and local initiatives) and capacity building.
In May 2015GPI held a Permaculture Design Course in Togo.
How You Can Help
We wish the help the GPI network get the right nourishment to act and pulse further, to Go! Grow! and Glow! In order to do that we need a bit more funding. The good news is that every little bit makes a big difference: each euro donated by you will be matched by 10 Euros from BMZ!
bank account holder: SONED Berlin Bank: GLS Bank
IBAN: DE53 4306 0967 8025 3066 01 BIC: GENODEM1GLS