General — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor September 16, 2008
Why roughing it in Africa or South America or Asia might be the best thing to happen to you.
The more astute amongst you may have noticed we’ve added a ‘Projects’ section to the site. Over time we’ll build this section up to better reflect the kind of permaculture work that is going on worldwide. We also plan to add a ‘People’ section, where we profile permaculturists (minimum requirement that they’ve taken a Permaculture Design Certificate course), so that project leaders can find workers, and vise versa.
As we see it, PDC courses serve a great need to give people an overview of permaculture design methods, but post-PDC activity is critical for people to gain hands-on experience in developing permaculture systems. People with experience can ultimately consult for individuals in their area, and those with sufficient knowledge and experience can consult for aid organisations, NGOs and even governments. As the global food crisis deepens, and energy issues become more pronounced, we’re seeing demand for such consultants significantly increase.
Ask people like Geoff Lawton, Darren Doherty and others and you’ll discover they do not have enough hours in their days to fill all the requests that are being fired at them. The more humanitarian-minded amongst you will quickly see the potential here, where consulting for cash for a business or individual in a wealthy country one week can enable you to consult for free for a poor community the next.
We see student involvement in worldwide permaculture aid projects as a great springboard for people to embark on this very rewarding path, as such work enables people to gain critical hands-on experience. Depending on the location, such work also brings workers face to face with the realities of living in a world with little or no oil. As they say, adversity is the mother of invention.
As such we are keen to see PDC graduates – particularly those with enthusiasm, commitment and a reasonable degree of knowledge and experience – getting involved in some of the many projects we are working with around the world. As per our ‘Permaculture Master Plan‘, these people can fit into three main categories – Administrators, Teachers and Farm Managers.
To help facilitate and prepare people for such work, on November 23rd Geoff and Nadia Lawton will begin a new course – a ‘Permaculture Project Aid Worker Training Camp‘ – aimed specifically at preparing people for worldwide project work. This course won’t be for everyone, in the sense that heading off to Tanzania or Samoa or Chile may not be suitable for all, but for healthy individuals with a passion for people and planet, and who can see the huge potential permaculture solutions have to offer the same, it may well be a turning point in life and a further stepping stone along the very rewarding permaculture career path.
After all, when you look at where the world is heading environmentally, politically, socially and economically, there seems to be few careers assured of a future. An experienced permaculture consultant, however, will secure a living for themselves whilst also having the ability to help people, and help build a community around them.
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