Four new apprentices from the Home of Hope Orphanage in Mchinji have now safely arrived at Kusamala’s Permaculture Demonstration Centre. The apprentices are joining the Centre for a six-month, intensive permaculture training program sponsored by Seeds of Change, an NGO based out of Los Angeles, California.

Mercy, Grace, Paul, and Kondwani at the Centre

The apprentices are all excited for the next six months. They hope to learn about the different aspects of permaculture and the ways it can improve their lives and the lives of their friends and family.

Paul Sambani Banda comes from Kaigwa Village, where he plans to return after his apprenticeship to implement what he has learned on his own land. He said that before coming to the Centre he didn’t know anything about permaculture, but now hopes that by learning about all the different aspects he will be able to use it as an important tool to help him in his future.

Kondwani busy planting jatropha seeds

Mercy Banda has expressed her desire to learn about all of the different aspects of permaculture so that she might be able to return to her mother’s village, Nkhalamba Village, and help her family and her community.

Grace Davison hopes that she will be able to help her community in Mphita Village by teaching them how to use compost. She has seen her family and friends go hungry because they cannot afford fertilizers and do not know how to grow without it. However Grace told us that it’s not just about fertilizers and that she also hopes to help her family and community improve their nutrition, plant new crops, and increase their water use efficiency.

Grace watering the compost during a staff training day

Kondwani Galanga sees permaculture as a cycle and believes that it is important to learn about every aspect of that cycle. When he returns to his father’s village of Kanzimbi he plans to start a permaculture demonstration centre for himself that he will use to teach the youth in the community about permaculture. Through this youth group they will be able to teach the parents by showing them the benefits of permaculture.

We are all excited to have their energy and enthusiasm here at the Centre and to see how their ideas about permaculture develop over the next six months. Check back regularly for updates on their progress!

For more information on our Apprenticeship Programme visit our project page.