GEN International Newsletter Summer 2016
Seeds of hope and abundance from Africa
We are delighted to bring you the GEN International newsletter. Leila Dregger did a fantastic job eliciting news from the GEN networks for the past four years – and it is with great gratitude to her and Maya Norton, our Communications Director, that we welcome the renewal of GEN’s positive flow of news from communities across the planet.
Special thanks as well to Sonita Mbah, Executive Secretary of GEN Africa, who has been instrumental in helping us shine a spotlight on the growth and accomplishments of this amazing region.
We find ourselves in times when the political climate itself is shifting, in more than one way – with challenges becoming more crystallized and less ignorable, while at the same time, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Climate Change Agreements provide a very supportive environment for ecovillage development. Governments around the planet are being pushed to look more closely at the implementation of solutions. Not an easy task, it seems.
The sixth special session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) was held from April 16th-19th, 2016 in Cairo, Egypt under the theme: "Agenda 2030 and Paris Agreement: From Policy to Implementation in Africa". GEN was there, with our partner in Egypt, Sekem, offering a side event on “Resilient Ecovillages in Africa”, which met with a high level of interest from various African ministers.
GEN International, together with GEN Africa, has developed a ‘Pan-African Ecovillage Development Programme’, designed to radically reform current development practices, putting communities at the heart of the process. The full and inclusive participation of communities and of the people on the ground in the conception and implementation of activities to implement SDGs will be the key to success. Together with Sekem, GEN is aiming to focus on a few countries, and the development of ‘Showcase Ecovillages’, to inspire change of a kind that benefits the many, not the few.
During my travels, I have experienced sheer astonishment at the growing scale of interest in the Ecovillage concept. No, we are still not a household name like Greenpeace or Amnesty International. But it feels pretty amazing to be told by Chinese business people, Ghanean youth, African ministers, and Palestinian activists alike that ‘Ecovillage’ is their dream. The integrity of work in thousands of communities around the planet is starting to ripple out.
You can get involved and help grow this effort by connecting with us on social media and by reading our annual report to learn about the vast array of good works and energy flowing through the GEN network.
Thank you for your interest! Please help us share the news.
With warm regards,
Kosha Joubert, Executive Director
With Maya Norton, Director of Communications
And Sonita Mbah, GEN Africa
Cover Letter - Ousmane Pame, President of GEN Africa
It is a privilege and honour to have a special GEN International Newsletter entirely focused on GEN Africa and the fantastic community dynamics our network is implementing and supporting throughout Africa.
Since its birth in December 2012 on the fertile banks of the River Nile, GEN Africa has been spreading its roots across the African continent, inspiring grassroots communities and their leaders and bringing radical changes on the ground through capacity-building and awareness-raising programmes, such as ecovillage design courses, workshops, conferences, TV and radio shows, and social media networks.
As a result of this momentum, national and regional networks have come into existence: GEN Mauritania, GEN Rwanda, GEN Ghana are all legally registered. Other networks are in the registration process. In West Africa, REDES or NEEDS in English (Network for Ecovillages Emergence and Development in the Sahel) is a registered sub regional branch of GEN Africa.
Meet the GEN Africa Core Leadership Team
|Dr. Ousmane Pame||Niveen Adel Morsy||Linda Kabaira||Sonita Mbah||Joshua Konkankoh||Mugove Walter Nyika||Paul Yeboah|
News from Africa
News from Africa
Cameroon: Come Learn With Us
Opportunities for Education and Engagement
|International Summer Training Camp, August 2016 - Bridging cultural boundaries to share, learn, and cultivate peace and tolerance at a global level.|
Cameroon: Ecobuilding in Bafut
Ecobuilding as part of Sustainable Development in Bafut Ecovillage
|Transforming a farm into a learning center and ecovillage: together we have created a model for the region with ecological buildings, the beginnings of a food forest, and water and solar systems to generate clean energy.|
Cameroon: Green Entrepreneurship
Green Entrepreneurship in Bafut Ecovillage
|The Bafut Ecovillage celebrates four years of sustainable community development, achieved through adaptive governance among the people and designing a model of cultural and social development based on a green economy.|
Congo: Hope for All Ecovillage
Ecovillage Design Education Courses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
|Espoir Pour Tous/Hope For All Ecovillage – “When we work with communities, we help them identify their problems and give them tools to strategize solutions and adopt projects based on concrete solutions. We are solving problems and changing lives.”|
Egypt: GEN Strategy Meeting in Sekem
GEN Africa and the United Nations
|GEN leaders ask politicians at the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment: “How can we help you achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals by transitioning African villages to ecovillages?”|
Gambia: Our Ecovillage Network
Founding The People’s Coast Ecovillage Network in The Gambia
|The creation of this new ecovillage network enables us to speak with a single voice as eco-champions. Throughout all of our activities, we are engaged in the mitigation of climate change and globalization. We are green warriors for Earth and the environment.|
Gambia: Three Upcoming Events
Convergence of Ecovillage Events – Music, Permaculture, and Food (December 2016, January 2017)
|Get ready to celebrate with an ecovillage convergence of events with music, food, and permaculture – you can’t get a better combination than that. All are welcome.|
Gambia: What's Happening With PECEN?
The People’s Coast Ecovillage Network (PECEN): Event Report
|The People’s Coast Ecovillage Network was founded as a result of two ecovillage and permaculture design courses in 2014 and 2015 that brought together villages in Gambia, Senegal, and Guinea Bissau, inspiring them to create a bio-regional approach to eco-development.|
Ghana: Country’s First EDE
|GEN Ghana held its first ecovillage design education course (EDE) this spring. Sponsored by the Danish Ecovillage Network and Danish Civil Society Fund, the partnership seeks to develop sustainable solutions and ecovillage models in Ghana and Denmark.|
Kenya: Ecovillage Construction Plans
OTEPIC Peace Ecovillage: Construction Using Natural Materials
|The OTEPIC Peace Ecovillage is using interlocking eco-bricks to create a honeycomb formation for a new conference hall, community house, and birthing center.|
Kenya: Honoring Animals
Kenya’s OTEPIC Peace Ecovillage: Respecting Animals in Ecovillage Culture
|We believe that all animals deserve respect and protection. Saint Francis of Assisi taught that animals are our brothers and sisters. With this understanding, we do not discriminate by artificial designations of what animal is a “pet” and what animal is “food.” To us, all animals are family.|
South Africa: Strategy Meeting
GEN South Africa’s 2016 Strategy Meeting (April-May 2016)
|GEN South Africa met this spring for a strategy meeting, promoting sustainability and clear channels of communication across the region with the long-term goal of developing a path for building and sustaining national initiatives.|
Zambia: Get Involved in Upcoming EDE
Upcoming Ecovillage Design Education Course: April 2017
|The first ever Ecovillage Design Education course will be held in Zambia. The course will be jointly facilitated by the Regional Schools and Colleges Permaculture (ReSCOPE) Programme and the Global Ecovillage Network.|
Zambia: Greening Schools
GEN International and the ReSCOPE Programme Partner
|The Greening Schools for Sustainable Community Development Project is working with four schools to produce resilience plans based on ecovillage design best practices.|
Zambia: Resilient Development
Ecovillage Best Practices from ReSCOPE
|Using schools as an entry point into creating more sustainable communities, we build on the four pillars of inclusiveness, genuine participation, integration, and local ownership.|
Zimbabwe: Facing Climate Change
Best Practices for Facing Climate Change Head On
|Climate change is affecting every country on every continent. Zimbabwe's green schools offer a best practice model in growing eco-sensitive food systems as a means of providing healthy food, increasing biodiversity in the face of drought, and mitigating climate change.|
Connect With GEN International
Looking to become more deeply involved in GEN International’s work? Here are five ways to get started:
- Read, “like”, and share our posts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn
- Volunteer in an ecovillage
- Become a GEN ambassador
- Contribute to the Solutions Library
- Donate: a gift of any size will be appreciated
We always welcome news and updates from ecovillage friends and allies. Please be in touch at [email protected] with the subject heading “Ecovillage News.”
With blessings and gratitude,
~ Maya Norton
Director of Communications