“During the PDC and internship I had the privilege of healing the wounds from my battles while I watched my fellow students fight their giants. Dire conditions and meager supplied we marched forth. The Farmy Army. Some students found it difficult to make it to classes at times due to financial and social constraints and yet their dedication to their studies was immovable. The NGO, Seed, that administrates the course brought the same level of commitment to their students offering support on many levels. The little known NGO’s venues in Mitchell’s Plain, Cape Town, is where the students spent the greater part of 6 months undergoing facilitation and changing the world as they went along.
As the course progressed the students formed a bond. We each became aware of the binding factor. We all had seen the harsh reality of what this world is like, however we still believe it’s worth saving. I was blessed to spend so much time with people devoted to planting gardens to feed and bring healing to people who will never even know they were there, who would never be able to repay them in any way.
The facilitators training methods where flawless when executed in line with each individual students progression. Another forward thinking initiative was the injection of the students into the green and alternative realms through a 3 week job shadowing opportunity. As a pilot and first of it’s kind in South Africa it was a success. Meeting the families, co workers, network of businesses, attending events one quickly becomes aware of a caring community the world refers to these people as alternative/hippies. I see only heroes because when these men and woman hold up a placard in protest they do it for everyones prosperity not just their own.”
“The Accredited Permaculture Course has given me a good all-round knowledge in designing and implementing systems that make people happy and keep their tummies full. Permaculture can solve the worlds problems. I feel capable and committed after this course. I am now working at Springdale Primary as a gardner.”
Accredited skills training and work readiness to increase employment and eco-enterprise development in urban township communities
“If countries fail at creating jobs, their societies will fall apart. Countries, and more specifically cities, will experience suffering, instability, chaos, and eventually revolution.” – Jim Clifton
In South Africa, the transition to a Green Economy is lagging behind other regions whilst at the same time, the future of young people and their inclusion in a formal economy is arguably one of the greatest challenges facing the country in the immediate term. The acute problem of high youth unemployment means young people are not acquiring the skills or experience needed to drive the economy forward. This inhibits the country’s economic development and imposes a larger burden on the state to provide social assistance. The statistics show that:
- More than 50% of young people under the age of 30 are unemployed compared with approximately 25% of adults over 30.
- Only 12.5% of working age adults under 25 years of age have a job compared with 40% in most emerging economies.
- Employment of 18 to 24 year olds has fallen more than 20% since December 2008.
- Unemployed young people tend to be less skilled and inexperienced – almost 86% do not have formal education, while two-thirds have never worked.
SEED has established and been recognised for its Applied Permaculture Training (APT) Programme, a practical entry level programme to permaculture. Facilitated as a three-week short course, the course is able to accommodate youth who may not have completed school or who have completed school with little opportunity to access further education and training opportunities.
To date SEED has facilitated five three-week APTs and graduated 80 young people. Participants have testified to the value and life changing benefits on the course and have achieved a 75% absorption into “green jobs” right out of the programme. This has been successful in three main areas: Some graduates have successfully started their own green businesses, while absorption into jobs within Government Departments and other non-Profit Organisations has also been strong. Employed people who have participated in the course have been able to move up the career ladder as green skills become desirable across all sectors.
SEED facilitates its operations out of Rocklands Urban Abundance Centre, in Mitchells Plain. There are immense benefits to teaching within an established Permaculture environmental system that includes demonstrations of relevant viable sustainable agricultural systems, renewable energy, earth-sensitive building and operating community enterprises. In this way learners get to experience a range of in-situ learning and gain valuable insight into the context about which they are learning.