Sector 39/EUPO (Eastern Uganda Permaculture) held a full PDC in September at Kumi Happy home, when plans were severely disrupted by Covid-19, and UK team members and attendees were unable to travel and the Ugandan team had to take the lead role. It was a steep learning curve for all of us, but a successful course none the less. Now we are revisiting 6-months later to evaluate the outcomes.
We did manage support the PDC with on-line lectures, we boosted the internet signal to the home so that the key lectures and discussion could still happen over Zoom, but a very different dynamic to what we had planned.
In order to reduce the risk of transmission we also shortened the course, and for the design projects students were encouraged to develop their own Action Learning Plan, i.e what techniques and strategies can they apply to their home plot after the course.
Opolot Godfrey and members of the training team then spent 2 weeks visiting all of the participants at their homes, allowing a chance to resolve any issues or problems, offer clarification and to establish a clear sense of how well the training had been received and understood.
Today and tomorrow we are repeating some of that process, visiting those members most easily reached and available for interview at this time. In late January 2021 now – over months since the PDC was completed, so time enough to witness some clear outcomes. It is dry season now, and was raining back in September when we undertook the training. We are adding audio files and write ups, photos as they arrive.
This is Patrick (above), he is a teacher normally, but due to Covid his school is closed. he has been applying permaculture techniques to his land an has been really enjoying the process, here he is showing Stella around the land. He has been working with a neighbor and have discovered a passion for growing, using permaculture they did not know that they had.
I loved this story and I think it stands as a testament to permaculture. The lady in the green PDC T-shirt, completed the September PDC and came home keen to try out what she had learned. The lady in purple is her neighbor and friend, she didn’t attend the course but has been learning from her friend. She seems to have made the most progress, this is a testament to permaculture and how well the ideas and understanding can be communicated.
Audio interviews from Kumi PDC participants
These recordings were taken in field by Stella Amuge for Sector39 in January 2021, after the September PDC in 2020 held at Kumi Happy Home
Interview 1: Patrick Okodan.
Very positive interview. Patrick talks about the changes he has made with permaculture, that he is selling surplus. He also says permaculture has led him away from gambling, which he used to be very involved in. Now he beauty everywhere he looks, and is busy not just cultivating his own land but that of a neighbor who has land to spare. Patrick is becoming a mentor and teacher to many people around and he feels a thirst fo9r more knowledge.
Interview 2: Deborah (Green PDC T-Shirt)
Ngora district. Permaculture is design by nature. Things I learned include compost, swales, stoves, raised beds – for seedlings, also seed banking. I started with swale digging and raised beds. I have been t4aching my fellow farmers how to make swales using A frame. I have been training the youth how to make kitchen garden, swales and more. Permaculture has acted as a source of incomes, before we ate only once a day, now three times, even four i can eat. My neighbors really appreciate the program, they have green vegetables to take to market. I have taught more than 40 families. Every morning they keep coming. It has changed their lives, but they need more training. We have a problem with water.
“Now when you need money for soap, for salt, you dont have to ask the men, you can sell some of your greens.”
“Now my children are healthy where before we would always get sick. “
“I am ready to be a trainer, where possible to train the farmers”
Mr Odeke (purple shirt)
From Ngora. In 6 months after the PDC, I have learned how to make compost, raise chicken, I made a chicken tractor, I use mulch and raise beds and catch and store energy. I am making compost from animal droppings. With the knowledge i have the cops do better, tomatoes, banana, i am getting good earnings from the fruits. My nutrition has improved, i get money and eggs from the chicken.
Tell me about your change in attitude.
” I have learned to live in a small area, and with even with a small plot you can make life easy” My neighbor liked what I do, they are copying. i am giving them training, they to my shamba to learn from me. They ask me to design for them.
Interview with Wilson
Interview by Stella with Wilson, talking about his experiences with permaculture.
Wilson did a PDC withe S39/ EUPO in September 2020
He talks about how this diet has improved and also he has surplus to sell. Permaculture has helped him in many ways.
His neighbours would like to attend a similar training.
He is very grateful to Arkleton trust and S39 for this training, he has been concentrating on a 1 acre plot and plans to cultivate more land next year.
I received training in 2018. I learned compost, using urine as a manure, making swales – to hold water to penetrate the ground.