For years there has been the practice of “twinning” within GEN, where ecovillages, eco-projects, and ecovillage networks form special friendships and support each other. Over time, these friendships solidify and evolve into mutually beneficial relationships. We now have wonderful examples of twinning relationships in GEN and are excited to streamline the twinning so more projects are able to find and support each other.
GEN is now supporting twinning relationships in a more systematic way, as a ‘dating agency’. When possible, we try to provide modest funds to support collaborative projects.
The 2020 Finalists represent each region and plan to work in all areas of regeneration. In no particular order, they are:
Peace Valley Bush Retreat (Australia) and Korogonas Ark (Greece) are working together on “Peace Ark.” The goal is to extend the field of work in bringing inner/outer peace and regeneration. They will create programme frameworks for both online and offline events that bring the best of both projects together and can be used in an ongoing way in both countries. This will enrich, strengthen, and deepen their individual offerings and also build resilience into both projects.
La Aldea (Colombia) and Aduna’m Espace Culturel et Agricole (Senegal) are working together on “Four Winds Spiral.” The goal is to support design techniques and small-scale building projects – clay oven, poultry farming plot, seedbed, & chicken tractor – along with video tutorials as a resource for GEN. This will also strengthen communitary processes through inter-cultural collective learning.
La Bolina (Spain) and Ecovillage Centre Des Hommes (Togo) are working together on “New Story.” The goal is to improve local quality of life, increase awareness, knowledge & skills, and educate communities to increase self-sufficiency. Through this project, migrants will be more aware of the reality of the living conditions in a European country, local rights, also possibilities, and opportunities to have a better life.
Obrobibini Peace Complex (Ghana) and Instituto Biorregional do Cerrado (Brazil) are working together on “Water is Life.” The goal is to implement two sustainable rainwater harvesting, storage, and filtration systems using natural building materials. After exchanging and documenting learnings in climatic and socio-cultural contexts, the long-term vision is to develop a guide for others in the Global South.
Govardhan Ecovillage (India) and Kibbutz Gezer (Israel) are working together on “Engaged community, water, and financial sustainability.” The goal is to engage both communities in economic issues and water resources. They will conduct scientific impact assessments and formulate stronger community visions, sharing the learnings with 78+ tribal villages and the wider scientific community.
Jacutinga do Caparaó (Brazil) and Catfarm (France) are working together on “Green Rivers Water Plant.” The goal is to build a water management plan that can be adapted to the different realities of both projects, based on the study of”water planting” technologies. They plan to experiment in practice with various techniques and share the results of research, including reaching out to young people and schools.
Nuestra Finca Sagrada (Nicaragua) and Familia Feliz (Spain) are working together on “Terra Preta.” The goal is to create a new composting toilet solution, enhancing soil health, and adding resilience to the yields of fruit orchards. They also plan to employ local workers to help and share the experience with the wider community by documenting the process through film and sharing on their websites and social media.
Ecovila nômade (Brazil) and La Rosina (Spain) are working together on “João de Barro Twins, Co-bioconstruindo.” The goal is to improve infrastructure of buildings in the eco learning centres using natural, ecological and low cost (inclusive) construction methods while disseminating information and experiences with local and global (virtual) public. This will include a green roof, finalizing windows, and adding a dry toilet and a shower with a greywater treatment system.
Badilisha (Kenya) and Kalamos and Kastos (Greece) are working together on “Training for trainers in ecosystem protection and permaculture.” The goal is to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and skills in community forest conservation and management and growing food forests in previous agricultural land for the purposes of ecosystem conservation. This will include engaging, training, and managing rangers in community forest protection.
While this round of twinning has now closed (July 2020), we hope to continue the project in the future. If you are interested, we invite you to fill out this form, to help us understand your project, your needs, and strengths, and find a fruitful match for you.
In order to be eligible for this project, please check the following criteria:
- You are an ecovillage, traditional or indigenous community, eco-community, eco-project (which includes permaculture farms, learning centers, restoration sites, emergency projects), national ecovillage network, or regional ecovillage network.
- You have an up-to-date profile on the GEN Projects Database – https://ecovillage.org/projects/
- Your ecovillage, community, eco-project, national or regional ecovillage network is interested to share skills and knowledge with your potential twin and develop a joint partnership together.
For all who sign up, our team will do our very best to link you to a partner who seems to fit your wishes well. We will help to set up the initial contacts between the twins. Both of the partners get a chance to meet and double-check whether you might like to foster friendship and work together (your first date…).
Once both parties feel that this twinning relationship is good enough to try, you are ready to start twinning with each other to your heart’s delight.
Read about past success stories of Twinnings:
Damanhur in Italy and Guede Chantier in Senegal planted 1400 trees and improved social and economic fabric in 15 Senegalese communities; read more here.
RIE in Spain and Portugal twinned with REDES in Senegal, bringing tangible change through the building of water wells and increasing awareness of water solutions and climate change; read more here.
International Peace Initiatives from Kenya and Ecologia Youth Trust from the UK joined forces to support orphaned children and educate 2000 women, thus empowering those affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic; read more here.
Comunidad de Paz in Colombia twinned with Tamera in Portugal; as a result of the collaboration, which started when the Comunidad de Paz was confronted with extreme violence, international visibility was brought to the Colombian community, helping them create a sustainable livelihood and a more peaceful environment for community members; read more here.
The Kumasi Institute of Tropical Agriculture (KITA) in Ghana has partnered with LOES, the Danish Ecovillage Network. From this partnership, GEN Ghana Network was created. Both held an Ecovillage Design Education course, an Eco-strategies training, and engaged in environmental actions; read more here.