- Date: 14 April – 11 May 2012
- Location: South Africa
The Global Eco-village network (GEN) and GEN Africa initiated the first Eco-village Design Education (EDE) course in South Africa at Lynedoch Eco-village in Stellenbosch, approximately 50km outside Cape Town.
25 Participants coming from varying African countries and abroad gathered at Lynedoch Eco-village in Stellenbosch to witness and take part in the first Eco-village Design Education course held in South Africa. A mixed group of people passionately seeking to (re) connect to other people and find ways to live more sustainably with the earth. The course was funded by Heidehof Stiftung and Lush Cosmetics.
Lua Bashala-Kekana, Lucky Kekana and Kosha Anja Joubert have worked passionately over the past couple years to bring the course into being. In spite of some unexpected knocks (including a last minute venue change) the course proceeded remarkably smoothly and brought together a unique, diverse and micro-cosmic group of people from over 8 countries and four continents.
Lua Bashala-Kekana, Lucky Kekana and Paola Vidulich facilitated the course. Guest Trainers included Kosha Anja Joubert; Ninnette Eliasov; Paulo Mellett; Gillian Wilton; Judy Bekker and Mthunzi Funo.
The course started with the Social Dimension which helped to connect and bring bonding to the group and also awaken deep rooted reactions and emotions. The opening evening gave everyone an opportunity to meet and exchange expectations. GEN was introduced on the first day as well as Gaia Education. The group got to know each other over the next few days which brought bonding but also surfaced sensitivities of race, class and gender inequality through continued injustice in South Africa.
The group explored: collective wisdom; community building; rank awareness and visioning considering GEN South Africa as part of a collective Dragon Dreaming exercise. Outings to the Spier Estates Bio Dynamic farm, Khayalitsha Township and later to Cape Town also brought deeper introductions.
World View and the Economic Dimension further cemented relationships and helped to crack open some of the critical themes that were surfacing. The group looked at the past by unpacking world history and the different economic systems that have evolved. Experiences were shared of alternative economics and local trading systems. The group also spent time exploring consciousness and socially engaged spirituality as well as connecting with nature in the Spiritual Dimension.
Forum sessions were held and sometimes brutal honesty and raw emotion arose to rock the group’s equilibrium, yet they managed to remain energetic, enthusiastic, caring and focused throughout.
Gender Reconciliation was facilitated over 2 days and was a profound experience that opened hearts and minds. Many people said that they found it to be inspirational and healing.
The Ecological Dimension and Open Space session offered a rich buffet of tools and methods for creating alternatives and taking EDE forward throughout the continent.
The course has laid a firm cornerstone and set a high standard for future EDEs planned in Africa. The group expressed their deepest gratitude for a deeply touching and truly liberating experience.