Green Warrior Permaculture Aid conducts aid projects for NGO’s, Charities and individual donors that want to obtain a result in helping people and communities affected by disaster or conflict. Green Warrior also trains people to train people in permaculture and conduct effective aid work.
Recently I met people from several international Aid provider organizations and they tell me they are setting up bases here in the Philippines also. Why the Philippines? The Philippines is now climate change event central. Here spread over 7000 islands are 90 million people living in one of the worlds most disaster prone countries.
The Philippines has earthquakes, typhoons, landslides, floods, war zones, pestilence and volcanoes. Contrast this with beautiful beaches, great people and many amazing natural wonders it makes this country a very interesting place to work and live. For me as a Permaculture Aid specialist, this country is the place I’ve chosen to set up training centers for people to learn Permaculture Aid. Trainees can come to these 2 centers and engage in hands-on activities to learn first hand how to conduct effective permaculture aid in the field.
Our first PAC, or Permaculture Aid Certificate course was held in a small village on the island of Panay next month. (6th October to the 31st October, 2014). The next PAC will be held in late October, 2015, to coincide with the South East Asian Permaculture Convergence that will be held here in the Philippines in November this year.
This is how the PAC is conducted:
Trainees will start the training by designing and building an aid base camp as they would build if they were inserted into a disaster zone for real. Toilets, showers, a meeting/dining area and an outdoor classroom are some of the components of a workable, safe basecamp. In 2 short days the students will have to build their camp. A camp must have water and sanitation sorted to prevent disease. It must be able to withstand high winds and heavy rains as well as being in an area free from flooding. Sounds like common sense? I could tell you some stories of base camp tragedies I have witness due to poor planning and design.
Once the camp is set up we begin to learn the basic methods to access a communities needs through a needs analysis and a resource audit. The students will walk the village roads talking to local people and measuring what’s needed.
This community was pounded by typhoon Yolanda in November last year and it is still recovering from that disaster as well as long-term poverty. This is definitely a community that could use some help. This area has the third worst malnutrition for children in the Philippines!
For the first 2 weeks the students will be trained at our field school basecamp. We have composting toilets, an excellent kitchen serving nutritious meals from local produce. We have all the resources to make this course interesting and informative. We have a safe haven ready if a typhoon hits as we are currently in typhoon season, which lasts half a year these days.
Once the students complete the first 2 weeks training they receive an entry-level qualification certificate in Permaculture Aid. The second 2 weeks is optional for those who want or need the field skills or field experience to nail home what they have learned on the PAC. For the last half of this 4-week course students will work in the villages building permaculture aid projects. These will include LORINA stoves (mud stove that uses 10% of the firewood used currently), an in-ground water cistern made from earth bags, a nursery for tree seedlings for farm forestry or community fruit trees, and community food gardens as well as several other small-scale projects.
At the end of this course people will have the confidence and skills to conduct their own aid project in most places in the world. The first time I ran this course was in Ethiopia in 2011. Students from that first course constantly send me emails with updates of their aid work in the many countries they operate in. It is always humbling to see what people can achieve once they have these skills under their belt.
How the PAC was conceived:
I first began designing a training package for aid workers in East Timor in 2014 after conducting my own aid projects there for 5 years. I was constantly getting angry with the local and International NGO and charities because of their [poorly designed programs and projects, which were wasting donor’s money and causing more harm than good to the local people. One day a friend told me I was grinding my teeth in my sleep and pointed out to me that I was going to harm my health if I kept up with this constant anger and stress. After a few days of pondering this problem I heard my inner voice tell me “don’t get mad, get effective”. I sat down and wrote out a simple manual with all the best practices Id seen in my time in the field. From that moment the manual grew and so did the quality of my strategies. I was able to train other people after that and see them get amazing results with little resources. Permaculture translated into aid work is the most cost effective form of effective aid. Its aid for the planet as well as aid for the people rolled into one project. To make a community truly sustainable you must rebuild their eco-system as part of the project. Without a functional ecosystem a community can never be self sufficient and will rely on resources from somewhere else. Unsustainable.
If you are planning a career as an aid worker or you would just want to do something to help poor people or the planet, then this course in October will set you on the right path. Perhaps you live in an area prone to climate change events. Wouldn’t it be wise to develop a new skill set to counter any disaster that may strike your community?
If you have the time and the resources jump on board. I guarantee you an interesting adventure and an experience that will improve your outlook on life. Forget books and on-line courses, this is the real deal. This is where you become a real Green Warrior!