Permaculture Australia’s Permafund team sends a huge thankyou to all of the people and organisations who donate to Permafund and fundraise to support its small grants program.
Because of this generosity and fundraising, the Permafund 2023 Grant Round was launched in November 2022 offering grants of AU $2,000.
A large number of applications were received from community organisations in Australia and overseas,
The Permafund assessment team is pleased to announce that grants have been awarded to these nine applicants to support their projects. The successful applicants are:
Anam Cara House, Colac- Australia
Using permaculture design a system of raised wicking garden beds will be constructed in the hospice grounds for healthy food production. Garden maintenance will provide a community activity and social experience for people with a chronic life limiting illness The fresh food produced will supply the hospice kitchen.
Aranya Agricultural Alternatives – India
Supporting indigenous seed varieties through Permaculture practices in Patha Sngapur tribal village, the project will promote and reintroduce indigenous seed varieties, seed saving, culinary traditions, seed sovereignty and seed freedom. It will also promote soil health through composting and Biochar.
Earthcare Permaculture- Ghana
This project in Adzokoe-Peki, Ghana, involves planting 500 coconut and citrus trees and installing a rainwater collection system for treecare and other community use. The project will help reduce soil erosion, provide food for the community and provide an income source for the youth who will be involved in the tree planting.
Farming & Health Organisation (FHE) – Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya
A Permaculture Design Course will be conducted by Farming and Health Education, in Kakuma refugee camp. Permaculture knowledge gained through the course will help to restore the environment and improve refugees’ nutrition and food security. The goal is to build the capacity and strengthen the development of the community in the camp.
Kajulu Hills Ecovillages – Kenya
Kajulu Hills Ecovillage residents intend to work with 20 grandmothers in the local district to establish intensive vegetable gardens, watered by a clay pot system. This project has become urgent as the effects of climate change are being greatly felt as crops are not receiving adequate rainfall and food shortage is already being felt by many. This project will benefit approximately 100 individuals from the households of the women and be a demonstration for the community.
Promotion of clay pots for grandmothers and physically challenged gardeners
Kitgum Permaculture Practitioners Assoc. – Uganda
Permaculture training for the deaf community will be provided by a specialist deaf teacher in Kitgum, Uganda. The project will benefit the community by sharing knowledge of permaculture and regenerative farming methods. Planting fruit trees and kitchen gardens will improve food security & economic independence in the deaf community by selling the surplus produced.
Mkulima Sasa Regenerative Agriculture (MSRA) – Kenya
The project in Siyaya, Kenya will train 50 people in Syntropic Agroforestry and assist the establishment of demonstration farms at two public schools and within the local area. Community members, school staff and pupils will all be involved in the project.
Rafiki Community Organisation- Kenya
Rafiki aims to empower and educate urban slum communities in Viwandani, Nairobi about urban farming techniques to boost food production and adapt to climate change. Rafiki’s urban farm, which demonstrates a simple and cheap way of farming in the slums, will be expanded to increase the supply of organic and affordable indigenous crops to the Viwandani residents. Rafiki will train community members in simple urban farming methods to increase yields from their small kitchen or home gardens and show how to utilise small vacant spaces in the area.
Union of Women for Rural and Community Development (UFEDERCO) – Democratic Republic Congo
Malnutrition in children is the main concern in the Uvira Rd. area of South Kivu in Democratic Republic Congo, so UFEDERCO’s project is to establish 6 school gardens within their community. The gardens will help to feed the school children and at the same time will be used to collect seeds to be distributed locally. Farmers from associations, schools and community groups will be selected by UFEDERCO to act as seed producers. They will be organised and trained to become professional seed farmers, able to meet the demand of local producers.
The Permafund thanks all of the 2023 grant round applicants and welcomes applications when the next grant round opens.
As grant recipient organisations send through their project updates and completion reports their stories are shared In Permafund News through Permaculture Australia’s website, newsletter and socials.
The response to this grant round has once again shown that globally there are so many community organisations seeking solutions for the multiple challenges they are facing, Those already with a permaculture qualifications are reaching out to Permafund for support so they can assist their communities with practical permaculture projects, sometimes in combination with teaching and demonstrating traditional, organic, syntropic and regenerative agriculture methods,
Some applicant organisations work with the most marginalised people in their community and they ask for down to earth help to improve food security to restore good health & livelihoods. Most organisations are keen to receive more information about permaculture to share with others of all ages and circumstances.
In the past 10 years Permafund grants have funded 73 projects in 17 countries including Australia, supporting a wide range of projects including environment restoration, reforestation, increased biodiversity, soil improvement, water management, permaculture education, renewable energy systems, regenerative agriculture, seed sovereignty, food security and adaptation for climate change.
Fundraising for Permafund’s next grant round is ongoing. If you may be planning an event or activity that could contribute funds to the Permafund that would be fabulous. Assistance and collaborations are most welcome so please contact us at email@example.com We’d love to hear from you.
Gifts to Permafund can be made here and are warmly welcomed. Amounts of $2.00 or more are tax deductible in Australia, Donations are shared with grateful grant recipients who put the funds to work in a wide variety of creative and effective projects.
Applications are now closed for the 2023 Permafund grant round. Submissions have been received from organisations in Australia and countries around the world including The Philippines, Nepal, India, New Zealand, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Successful applicants will be informed in March 2023.
At this giving time of year, a gift to the Permafund will help support the many organisations who have applied for funds for their various projects. For example,
Permafund Chair John Champagne explains “We’ve received many more applications than we have funds available for which demonstrates the global need that Permaculture inspired projects constantly face.”
“We’ve started a conversation about privilege in and around permaculture circles lately and communities coming together to raise funds for Permafund offer us all an opportunity to assist those in greatest need and manifest our Third Ethic of Fair Share.”
Fundraisers such as open gardens and community events to support Permafund’s micro grant program are a wonderful help and are very much appreciated.
All gifts, tithes and donations made by individuals and businesses to the Permafund that are over $2 are tax deductible in Australia and are warmly welcomed.
Contributions to the Permafund can be madehere. Many thanks.
For more information and to share fundraising ideas for Permafund please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The Panchayat Raj Movement (PRM) was founded in India in1989 by a group of youth activists with the vision to create a society where every human being can live in peace, harmony and respect with each other. They aim to connect various grassroots groups of different backgrounds to form an integrated community.
Over the course of 6 months two staff members from PRM, with the help of 15 volunteers, facilitated the training of 50 farmers from 10 different villages- Aiyavayal, Kurunchampatti, Shanthinipatti, Kadiyapatti, Veerakudi, Kangampatti, Perampur, Surundampatti, Muttampatti and Palaiyaveerakudi.
The initial session was held at the PRM Field Office run by Mrs. Vijaya, a local organic farmer, teaching permaculture skills with a focus on introducing mixed crops into agriculture, digging small ditches for rainwater harvesting, growing herbal plants to make pest repellents and compost making with agriculture waste and promoting perennial crops. The participants gained hands-on experience in making compost, natural pest repellents and setting up worm farms.
The development of better and more affordable pump systems has seen a steady increase in the groundwater consumption in the south of India. The ancient technique of digging ditches for rain water harvesting was demonstrated and is reviving the area immensely.
Other monoculture farmers have taken an interest in the project and have since experimented with more sustainable ways of mixed farming and natural fertilisation of their crops.
Now over 150 acres of land have been planted out using permaculture techniques. Soil and water conservation structures are being made and only organic inputs were used. 500 to 750kg of produce was harvested and up to 350 farmers in 10 villages are being made aware of permaculture techniques for land regeneration.
In addition to this, there was another training day offered by Mrs. Sumathi to teach 30 women how to value add to their millet products. Also, 5 seed banks were established over the course of the project. The monsoon rains were better than expected and allowed the farmers to earn an income from their farming activities. The project achieved its goal and created a larger impact than anticipated.
Fund-raising activities, donations, tithes and pledges to Permaculture Australia’s Permafund are warmly welcomed and are supporting community projects like this in Australia, Asia, Africa and the Pacific. One off or recurring tax-deductible donations to Permafund can be made here. Many thanks.
Elmer Sayre is a permie on the island of Mindanao in the Phillipines . His application for WAND (Water, Agroforestry, Nutrition and Development Foundation) secured a $2000 grant to teach two PDCs, and also raise thousands of seedlings with farmers so they can grow timber and food as well as sustain a community seed bank. To support the application, Elmer supplied evidence of previous projects which included Ecosan – a composting toilet, a tree planting project (with accompanying manual), worm composting, vegetable growing and water conservation. Elmer also gave us a long and in-depth talk on WAND’s work and context which began as a routine background-check interview over Zoom. Mindanao has about the same population as Australia, but as its population is 70 times denser the farming strategies are different.
Elmer explains: “The farming situation in our area is small farms that we need to develop into a diverse system utilising local inputs. The government might promote tree planting but the farmers say ‘How can we get income from that?’ The smaller ones want short-term income. So we say, you plant vegetables, plant bananas and in nine months you have a harvest, root crops in seven months you can harvest, green leafy vegetables in two or free weeks. Increasing their economic base. Pigs, free-range chickens, they don’t grow big like commercial ones but they are okay”. The plan is to grow trees for fruit, timber, and seed as well as foods including bananas, sweet potato, and cassava. With the two PDC trainings, the goal is to have an exponential increase in food production as farmers will be using heirloom and open-pollinated varieties. Fertility will come from vermicompost, composted humanure, goat poo, and biochar from rice hulls. Existing practices will be first be documented and photographed, then compared with post- project snapshots for evaluation. Results will be shared with other Permafund projects.
Doing our daily business, we might not think about it much using our so-called sophisticated water closets which cost thousands of dollars to maintain and waste millions of litres of fresh water daily.
People in a refugee camp aren’t that lucky. Doing their business can often be very dangerous, especially for women. The pollution created is also a big problem and so are unsanitary toilet compounds that can’t deal with the volume. There are no pipes or costly sewer systems.
Jay Abraham from Biologic Design in the UK has coined the phrase ‘tree bog’ for the toilet system that simply uses an old essential habit that people in his native England used daily. As he describes ‘People used to do their business in a bucket in a closet and they would have a separate bucket of soil and sprinkle it over each time a deposit was made. It kept the smell away.”
Tree bog infographic byAndrew Jeeves (Regrarians)
The way the tree bog works is quite similar. Its floor is built up high, at least 1.5 metres above ground level. The space under the floor is enclosed by 2 layers of wire mesh filled with carbon material (hay, straw, dry grasses) to allow air flow, absorb excess nitrogen and provide a visual barrier. The human waste is covered with sawdust, ash or soil and breaks down, feeding the surrounding area that’s planted out with trees, grasses and ground covers. In less than a year there are fast growing trees & fruits such as papaya to pick plus shade and biomass to refill the wire mesh carbon wall.
For 30 years Jay has been using his tree bog invention on his own property, fine tuning it to be shared with the world. He’s supported many projects that are building the toilets in refugee camps.
Permafund has recently funded a tree bog in the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya. Established in 1990, the camp has some 60 000 inhabitants with many living there in limbo for years and years.
Since then, Marcelin Munga from Food & Health Education (FHE) in Kakuma has attracted more funding to build another tree bog. Members of the Permafund team were invited to tune into a live Zoom workshop with Jay Abraham beamed in from the UK. Marcelin hosted some 20 people from the compound including 3 cooks and 2 educators and a number of mothers with their babies, eager to start building their own tree bog. The workshop members used tools previously purchased with the Permafund grant.
There were some technical difficulties with the Zoom, but we got see the site and meet the group. Jay gave a report from another camp where one of the tree bog toilets had caught the attention of UNHCR. They inspected it with a negative attitude and the intention to knock it down but instead left impressed and gave the tree bog their tick of approval.
Donations made to Permaculture Australia’s Permafund that are over $2,00 are tax deductible in Australia and are supporting the grant program that assists organisations like Farm and Health Education to make a significant, practical difference in their community through the application of permaculture design principles and ethics.
With the help of a Permafund grant, Kajulu Hills Eco Village in Kenya has trained a number of residents of the Kakuma refugee camp in permaculture skills. Many people are born and grow up in this vast camp that’s been operating for 30 years and has an estimated 16,500 family compounds each with an average of 20 people.
One of the trainees, Marcelin Munga, is a member of the Farming & Health Education organisation (FHE) in partnership with Biologic Design which successfully applied for a Permafund grant to run a 4-day Treebog construction workshop for camp residents.
The Treebog’s innovative compost toilet design encloses the area below an elevated platform with two layers of wire mesh. Straw is stuffed between the two protective mesh layers to act as a visual screen for the first year’s use plus to allow airflow, soak up excess urine and stop odours. Carbon-rich organic matter is sprinkled on the above-ground pile after each use. The resultant nutrient seepage fertilises food trees planted intensively around the Treebog, e.g. bananas and papayas that fruit two years after construction. A rainwater tank collects runoff from the roof for a hand washing station next to the Treebog.
Jay Abrahams of Biologic Design UK, who designed, created, and developed the Treebog, hopes that the skills and knowledge required to build one can spread throughout the Kakuma camp and beyond.
He says “The Treebog is a very good example of permaculture design in action. It shows how by placing the components in mutually beneficial locations the “problem’ of the toilet wastes, becomes the source of the solution: a regenerative, resource creating, tree-growing, sanitation system. The Treebog is a simple, Regenerative Sanitation or ‘W.A.S.H.’ System. It provides sanitary compost toilet facilities, where the human waste and handwash water are considered to be a resource to be used – not a problem to be disposed of!”
“The Treebog is not a long drop toilet” he explains, “as there is no pit required underneath. The Treebog is an aerobic compost pile that simply sits on the soil surface underneath the platform. The compost pile is surrounded by the enclosed base as well as the trees that are planted around the structure, so the liquids soak into the soil underneath the Treebog and into the root zone. As there is no pit underneath, this helps to protect groundwater from pollution.”
It’s estimated there are around 1,500 Treebogs in use in the UK. Other projects have introduced the technology elsewhere in Africa and in Asia.
Support for projects like this by the Permafund grant program is made possible because of the generous donations received from individuals, families, permaculture groups, businesses, and community fundraisers.
Over the past 10 years, Permafund grants have benefited 58 environmental, community-building, and permaculture education projects in Australia and 15 other countries around the world.
Donations and recurring contributions to Permafund can be made here through the ‘Give’ portal on the Permaculture Australia website. Donations of $2.00 or more are tax-deductible in Australia. All donations and contributions are warmly welcomed.