Permaculture projects making a difference

Permaculture projects making a difference

PA’s Permafund provides small grants of less than $2000 AUD to community permaculture projects across the globe. Since 2012, we have funded 51 projects in 15 countries that support food security, seed sovereignty, regenerative farming practices and water harvesting.

Some of the volunteer Permafund team members

After reviewing a record number of applications, we are thrilled to announce thirteen successful grant recipients for 2020/2021. A huge thank you to our generous donors and to the Permafund volunteer team (pictured left) for their amazing work coordinating the grant program.

We have four more projects we’d like to fund on the waitlist. If you have thought about donating to Permafund or would like to organize a fundraising activity to assist please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

2020/2021 Permafund grant projects

  • Aranya India aims to promote permaculture farming practices to create ecological, sustainable and regenerative  livelihoods. Permafund funding will support the design and development of permaculture farms for small and marginal farmers, with a focus on female farmers in rural India.

Emas hitam Indonesia is a grassroots permaculture non-government organization (NGO) that aims to promote, support and develop regenerative solutions to poverty and development across Indonesia. This project supports training and seeds for food security in Bali, an area hard hit from the fallout of Covid-19 travel restrictions.

  • Fambidzanai Zimbabwe supports food and income security projects through sustainable land use management, training and the facilitation of market opportunities for organic produce. The Permafund project will set up a biogas model plant in Harare for learning and replication in rural and peri-urban communities.
  • Foundation for Research and Sustainable Development (FRSD), India is an NGO devoted to the preservation of the natural diversity of plant and animal species and their habitats, through the prevention of environmental degradation and destruction. Permafund funding will support the training and set up of permaculture kitchen herbal gardens for rural and Indigenous women in rural areas, including the purchase of plants, biofertilisers, training and the translation and printing of booklets into Tamil language.

IRDS India is an NGO that envisages a society where the less privaledged are socially, economically and politically empowered. The funded project will support tribal farmers in rural Tamil Nadu with training on permaculture and low input farming, Indigenous seeds and a seed bank, and materials for natural pest control.

Laikipia Permaculture Centre (LPC) in Kenya is a partnership of 11 Maasai women groups with  770 individual members who have been pushed by climate change, severe environmental degradation and change of land available for grazing to find alternative livelihoods in drylands. The grant will be used in land rehabilitation through the planting of trees, developing food forests in established groups and permaculture training.

  • Poret Zimbabwe core activities are in permaculture practices both at our Centre and in the villages in which they work, including natural resource management, water catchment, indigenous seed saving and organic farming. The Permafund grant will support the purchase of seed tubers to ‘bring the Madhumbe tuber back’, including training and training and construction of swales to assist with growing the tubers.
  • OTEPIC Kenya is a community based organization sharing knowledge and innovative approaches on permaculture, renewable energy and peace initiatives, with a focus on women and youth groups. The grant will assist with training and setting up of bee hives for 100 community members, as well as promoting the value of bees as pollinators in mixed rural agriculture settings.

SCDI Kenya aims to empower smallholder farmers to lift themselves out of poverty and hunger with sustainable livelihood, environmental conservation, food security and water & sanitation projects. The Permafund project will support 200 small holder farmers with green manure seeds and training to improve soil fertility, farm planning and crop rotation.

Sustainable Kenya aims to build the resilience of sustainable community food through transformation of healthy soils and promotion of native plants for pollination. Permafund funding will support a regenerative agriculture project for marginalized communities that have been affected by Covid-19 with seeds, tools, native plants and permaculture training.

Turtle Survival Alliance India has a focus on conservation efforts with local communities to safeguard threatened freshwater species in four (of the five) turtle priority areas in India. The project will offer training in vermicomposting and food growing to reduce the reliance on aquatic wildlife for food.

WORD Trust India improves the lives of communities through health, safe water, sanitation and sustainable development projects. This funding will support training on preparation of vermi-composting, construction on compost pits and supply of seeds and saplings for growing for rural marginal women farmers in Tamil Nadu.

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Earth care, People care & Fair share

Earth care, People care & Fair share

Permaculture Australia is registered as a charity with the ACNC operating as Permaculture International Public Fund (Permafund). Since 2012, Permafund has funded 38 community permaculture projects in 14 countries including Kenya, Nepal, Bangladesh, Tanzania, Timor Leste, Indonesia, Afghanistan and Cambodia.

Permafund has received double the usual number of applications in this year’s micro grant round. The 37 projects applying for funding of up tp $2000 are mostly concerned with food growing. Countries like India have seen city workers pouring back to their villages and putting pressure on local food supplies. Other proposals include fish farming, women’s livelihoods and saving endangered turtles by using riparian permaculture techniques. 


Permafund has received double the usual number of applications in this year’s micro grant round. The 37 projects applying for funding of up tp $2000 are mostly concerned with food growing. Countries like India have seen city workers pouring back to their villages and putting pressure on local food supplies. Other proposals include fish farming, women’s livelihoods and saving endangered turtles by using riparian permaculture techniques. 

The Permafund team scrutinises and assesses all the proposals, often contacting applicants for clarification about their plans and the techniques employed. Priority is given to those with the greatest need, with a good concept and implementation plan, in line with permaculture principles and with conservation value. 

Beekkeeping, a biogas plant, gardens in refugee camps and revival of traditional foods such as the madhumba tuber are examples of the range of projects to consider.

While the team will have the difficult task of rejecting some applications, an increase in donations this year will mean that more communities than before will be successful.

When asked why Permafund was so successful, our volunteer Grants Coordinator Jed replied:

Permafund is able to scrutinise on-the-ground projects to ensure they produce a good yield and distribute it fairly to those most in need. By funding projects directly and ensuring permaculture techniques are properly used we know that all funds raised result in healthy landscapes. Increasingly we see groups who have the knowledge and skills but lack the resources to progress their food-growing plans…. Permafund makes their designs a reality which is very satisfying”

A huge thank you to all of our donors, including a recent donation from our supporters at Pip Media and Pip Magazine.

“At Pip Media we follow the permaculture ethics of earth care, people care and fair share – by donating to Permafund we share some of the profits that come through the work we do… We know the donation will go to projects that have been carefully selected by the great team behind PA’s Permafund – Permaculture International Public Fund whom share similar values to Pip.” Robyn, Editor Pip Magazine.

Thanks Robyn and team Pip!

The Permafund team is currently hard at work assessing the applications and can’t wait to announce the successful grants on 30th October 2020. In the meantime, you can find out more about Permafund and the projects we support, including how to donate here

Permafund welcomes micro grant applicants

Permafund welcomes micro grant applicants

Do you represent a community organisation in a region recovering from the past year’s many natural disasters and catastrophic events? If so,  now’s the time to consider applying for a Permafund micro grant.

Focusing on the theme of resilient communities, Permaculture Australia’s Permafund is welcoming applications for grants to support permaculture- oriented projects that are preparing your community to withstand disasters such as bushfires, food shortages, cyclones, drought, floods or disease or helping your community recover from any of these challenges.

Demonstrating how to make liquid fertilser

Soil improvement & seed distribution workshop

For example, the micro grants are available to support community projects working to install and restore food production, water harvesting and renewable energy systems, to protect and re-vegetate habitats and build community resilience.

To apply, the Application form and Grant Guidelines are available here to download as PDF and Word documents.

2020 Grant-Guidelines (PDF)

2020 Grant-Guidelines (WORD)

2020 Application-Form (WORD)

2020 Application-Form (PDF)

Please send the completed form and any supporting documents to permafund@permacultureaustralia.org.au before the closing date of Sunday 30th August 2020 ( midnight Australian Eastern Standard Time AEST).

Permaculture Australia’s Permafund plays a unique role in the worldwide permaculture community through its micro grant program that distributes donations received from individuals, businesses and fundraisers.

Donations of $2.00 or more are tax deductible in Australia and are shared with grateful recipients who put their grants to work in a wide variety of creative environmental and community building projects.

For more information please contact Grant Coordinator, Jed Walker  permafund@permacultureaustralia.org.au.

Seed stored to improve village food security

 

 

Permafund grant applications now open

Permafund grant applications now open

Permafund is pleased to announce the 2020 funding round is now open for applications.

What type of projects can be funded?

This year our focus is on the theme of resilient communities.  This means permaculture projects that prepare a community to withstand and recover from disasters such as fire, food shortages, cyclones, drought and disease will be viewed favourably.  Permaculture projects are more important than ever to help keep communities safe and strong. Applications are welcome from community groups in Australia and overseas. 

 

How much can I apply for?

Generally, we will distribute 5 to 10 grants of up to AUD $2000 (about USD $1360) in each grant round. Applicants are asked to be prepared to discuss their proposals and provide referees where required. 

The funds available are limited so please understand that not all applications can be approved for funding in this grant round. 

 

How do I apply?

The Grant Application form and Guidelines are available in PDF and Word documents below.

2020 Draft Grant-Guidelines (PDF)

2020 Draft Grant-Guidelines (WORD)

2020 Application-Form (WORD)

2020 Application-Form (PDF)

Please send the completed form and any supporting documents to permafund@permacultureaustralia.org.au before the closing date of 30th August 2020 (by Midnight Australia Eastern Standard Time). 

 

When will I know if my grant was successful?

Successful applicants will be notified by October 30th 2020.

 

 

 

Where can I send any queries?

Any questions can be sent to Mr Jed Walker, Grant Coordinator at  permafund@permacultureaustralia.org.au 

 

We look forward to receiving your application. 

 

 

Permaculture training and a Permafund grant gets water storage for Amir’s school in Bangladesh

Permaculture training and a Permafund grant gets water storage for Amir’s school in Bangladesh

Permafund Patron Rowe Morrow and Amir Hossain, Coxs Bazar Bangladesh 2019

When Amir Hossain joined a Permaculture Design Course (PDC) on the edge of the Rohingya refugee camp in Cox’s Bazaar some people were surprised. One of the facilitators, Rowe Morrow was not.  Amir had not been invited to the PDC but had heard about it and turned up just as it started and sat on the side. He was of course invited to participate.

Jed Walker, from PA’s Permafund Committee talks with Rowe Morrow, Permafund Patron, about supporting the communities in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

 

“People like Amir just seem to find permaculture” Rowe says, speaking from her home in Katoomba. “He was so keen and he really got it. Near the end of the course, he came and asked for his personal presentation, not of his home or camp, but the primary school where he teaches. He was glowing with enthusiasm because the application of permaculture principles to that land shouted to him. So he came to our hostel and presented to us one evening and then pleaded with us to come and visit the school where he had already started to implement some work around toilets and grey water.  We were able to visit the school and assisted with planting the first trees.  Amir had the local Imam and mosque community enthusiastic as well.” say Rowe Morrow.

 

Amir Hossain, Coxs Bazar Bangladesh 2019

When visiting the site he designed for his primary school, Amir’s expression betrays how crucial it is that this plan becomes a reality. The site, a tiny school, several kilometres from the PDC course he attended, had few plantings and no reliable water source even in the Bangladeshi monsoonal climate. The only water pumped from a nearby river was a slurry from the sand mining operations that constantly erode the surrounding rivers and rice paddies, The landscape itself is already denuded of native forest due the encroachment of the huge refugee camp with its human needs for cooking food, shelter and keeping warm.

 

The Quaker Service Australia partnered with the Bangladesh Association for Sustainable Development (BASD) to run the course, with a team of permaculture teachers, including Jed and Rowe. When all of the stakeholders met at the site it was decided that a water tank was critical for Amir’s design to succeed.

Permafund provided a micro-grant of $500 and BASD facilitated the transfer to the village for the new tank. The CEO of BASD, Mr Boniface Gomes, tells us that the water tank is now installed at the primary school site, which is crucial to providing safe water with the upcoming monsoon season and current COVID-19 pandemic.

Cox’s Bazar camp, Bangladesh 2019. Photo credit: Kym Blechynden.

As of June 2020, there are 1772 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Coxs Bazar district (and 40 in the camps), and multiple fatalities reported. With nearly one million people living within a few square kilometres in temporary shelters, the camp is vulnerable to a swiftly spreading outbreak and the imminent monsoon season. The Permafund team hopes that the presence of the water tank and associated permaculture training will assist the communities to respond during this time.

 

 

The course Amir attended was one of a series of eight held in Greece, Iraq, Turkey, Bangladesh, and Malaysia for refugees and led by Rowe during 2019/20. Five of these courses were funded by Quaker Services in Australia. One member of the Permafund team, Jed Walker, and Rowe Morrow, Permafund Patron, were part of the teaching team.

PA’s Permafund has provided small grants to dozens of permaculture community projects in Australia and internationally since 2012. Donations over $2 are tax deductable (in Australia) and can be set up as one off or recurring donations. To find out more, including how to donate, please click here. Thank you in advance for your support to PA’s Permafund.

 

Permafund supports permaculture workshops in India

Permafund supports permaculture workshops in India

In 2018 the Integrated Rural Development Society (IRDS) of the Salem District, Tamil Nadu successfully applied for a Permfund micro grant to conduct training workshops for 50 tribal farmers from the Mannur, Alamarathukadu, and Poomarathupatti villages in the Kalrayan Hills.

Farmers with an interest in permaculture and new agriculture methods were identified with the help of farmer leaders before being introduced to the project’s goals and main activities.

Seed varieties shared during workshop

A series of workshops were conducted covering permaculture and organic agriculture methods to maximise return from the same land in multiple ways, the control of weeds by intercropping, making liquid fertiliser to increase micro-organisms in the soil and water harvesting to improve soil moisture.

Liquid fertiliser demonstration

Seeds and seedlings were distributed to increase the diversity of vegetable and indigenous grain crops being cultivated. The project has helped the farmers lessen their reliance on outside inputs and improve their harvests for better food security.

Intercropping increasing yields

On behalf of the tribal farmers, the IRDS team has expressed their sincere thanks to Permaculture Australia and Permafund for the partnership, cooperation and support that’s enabled the organisation to implement this important project in their community.

The activities of the Integrated Rural Development Society include raising awareness of the importance of protective, preventive health practices including providing clean drinking water and good sanitation.  Other major issues addressed by the organisation are the empowerment of women, environmental protection, HIV and AIDS awareness and health development through alternate medical practices such as naturopathy and yoga practices.

Tax deductible donations to Permafund support permaculture-oriented projects like this in Australia and overseas.

For more information please contact permafund@permacultureaustralia.org.au.

A variety of crops fill the fields