YOUTH TO YOUTH INSPIRATION
Again, taking inspiration from Rosemary Morrow, whose teachings underscore the value of empowering young people, not only with the experience of working at sites, but also through teaching their own peers, the youths in Mallorca, invited by their local mentors, have thus begun going into local schools and assisting teachers in introducing permaculture into public secondary schools.
However, many youths don’t know about the opportunities permaculture offers and it is this that the group wishes to address in order to engage other youths.
During the 2016 European Permaculture Convergence in Bolsena, Italy, several young participants noticed the near absence of other youths at the event. They discussed the importance of including youths in the permaculture movement with members of the Children in Permaculture (CiP) project. These discussions inspired a new project to build an international network engaging youths in permaculture.
ENSURING VISION AND MISSION
The formative group – Rakesh Rootsman Rak (CiP), Lusi Alderslowe (Permaculture Association), Mandy Merklein, Elias Robson (age 15), and Victor Pla (age 21) (all PermaMed.org/ Escola Kumar) and Anna Gurney (Boodaville) – have created an initial vision and mission for the group, and have sent out a survey to attract people to form a core partnership.
‘Permaculture, originally “Permanent Agriculture”, is often viewed as a set of gardening techniques, but it has in fact developed into a whole design philosophy, and for some people a philosophy for life. Its central theme is the creation of human systems which provide for human needs, but using many natural elements and drawing inspiration from natural ecosystems. Its goals and priorities coincide with what many people see as the core requirements for sustainability.’ Emma Chapman
‘We are impressed with how much interest the initiative has attracted. We plan to meet in spring 2017 to form the core group, learn how to use sociocracy as a governance tool, and cocreate the project’s design.’
Youths will be a growing part of the decision-making team, providing a vital voice throughout the project. Ideally this will become a youth-run programme, designed by young people, with mentors acting in an advisory capacity.
If you would like to become part of the Youth in Permaculture movement and support this effort you can begin by contacting the initial team at: childreninpermaculture.com
This is a great opportunity to open doors and include more young people in the permaculture movement. As Robina McCurdy told the youths in Mallorca, ‘Youths are the future. Take the tools and knowledge and power and go for it . . . make a difference for yourselves and the world.’
This article first appeared in the Summer 2017 (Issue 92) edition of Permaculture Magazine, an award-winning, authoritative publication that educates and informs on the importance of sustainable living.