OGLALA LAKOTA CULTURAL AND ECONOMIC REVITALISATION INITIATIVE
The Indigenous people of the Oglala Lakota are revitalising their culture with permaculture, Indigenous wisdom and looking for solutions for the next seven generations. Based at Pine Ridge in South Dakota, a Reservation created in 1889 – originally part of the Great Sioux Reservation – there’s a need for change.
Ranked the poorest county in the nation, it has a lack of housing, abysmal health issues, severe food insecurity and has been described as a developing nation within the USA. OLCERI is an Indigenous-led organisation aiming to cultivate skills for regeneration. It’s creating gardens, earthships, appropriate technologies and practising holistic land management. Completely off-grid, everything the organisation does is supporting affordable and accessible housing and a resilient food system. OLCERI hosts Indigenous Wisdom and Permaculture Skills Convergences and Permayouth Americas have partnered in support.
NAKIVALE REFUGEE PERMACULTURE PROJECT
Established in 1958, the Nakivale Refugee Settlement in Uganda near the Tanzanian border is the oldest refugee settlement in Africa. Now home to 120,000 people from places like Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan and Somalia, many have lived here for over a decade. In Uganda, refugee families are provided with a plot of land where they can build a shelter and grow food. Despite this, hunger is a daily reality in Nakivale and rations have been cut during the pandemic.
A youth enterprise group, Unidos Social Centre, has launched a permaculture project to address this food crisis and encourage refugees to create food forests and diverse perennial food gardens at home, in schools and within community gardens.
This is the first of a new collaborative initiative called 10,000 Communities – an official program of the Club of Rome, together in Nakivale with the International Bateson institute, the Permaculture Education Institute and Ethos Foundation.
In the 1980s, global seed activist Vandana Shiva created Navdanya to respond to the issues that a quarter of a billion Indian farmers are still protesting today. Based in India, Navdanya is an earth-centric, women-centric, farmer-led movement dedicated to protecting cultural and biological diversity and seed sovereignty. It recognises that food is life, food is health and that growing food ecologically regenerates soil, water and biodiversity.
Across most of India, Navdanya has created community seed banks, conserving a rich seed heritage of climateresilient food and is freely saving, sharing and breeding native varieties. Navdanya farmers grow food from living seed and call for an immediate transition to regenerative food systems and seed sovereignty.
Vandana recognises that agroecological systems like permaculture hold the key to solving the climate and ecological crises.
PERMAYOUTH AMBASSADORS CREW
The Permayouth Ambassadors Crew is a band of young refugees making permaculture music to create change. Sumaili Nyange, the group’s founder says, ‘Music is the way we can share a positive story and spread the permaculture ideas to help our community escape poverty and hunger.’
Sumaili is a young refugee who has grown up at one of the largest refugee camps in the world, Kakuma Refugee Camp (almost 200,000 people) in northwest Kenya. Life is hard at Kakuma – which means ‘nowhere’ in Swahili – with daytime temperatures averaging 40 °C, there’s grinding hunger, little to do and no real sense of a future. Sumaili makes amazing music with his band which they started after completing a Permayouth PDC together. Aged between 14 and 20 years, the members see this as a way to rapidly spread accessible regenerative-permaculture strategies like food resilience, composting, water harvesting and cooperative enterprise throughout the community and alerting them to positive action.