In Pip podcast #23, Pip editor Robyn Rosenfeldt chats with permaculture pioneer Rosemary Morrow about her latest work teaching permaculture to refugees. Along with a dedicated team of permaculture teachers from around the world, Rosemary is teaching permaculture to people in some of the harshest living conditions on earth, in Kabul, Kurdistan, Malaysia and Bangladesh, to name a few. These refugees are often in camps for ten to twelve years with no purpose and nothing to do. By teaching them permaculture she is giving them hope, knowledge, purpose, pride and the ability to grow food and not be totally reliant on rations.
By teaching one small group permaculture it has far reaching effects. In January 2019, they taught Rohinga refugees in Bangladesh. Rosemary explains, ‘The results were exciting. There was, in addition to the design, the imperative that each refugee participant teach 100 others. Within a few weeks about 2,500 people were practicing some sort of permaculture from nursery work, to planting. Gardens were most wanted because the camp food was horrible and sometimes scarce. Within weeks we were receiving photos of whole sections of the camp transformed and the other NGOS asked what was the secret to such an effective project. Permaculture there is now pretty much out of control as refugees copy and learn from each other.’
The work done by the permaculture for refugees group is so valuable. If you would like to support this work by donating to the cause, go to The Big Fix and donate to the Blue Mountains Permaculture Institute, Rosemary’s organisation.