The Global Permayouth Project is the winner of the 2021 Hildur Jackson Award for Extraordinary Project! The Hildur Jackson Award is a €3,000 annual prize that supports and honours projects around the world that demonstrate regenerative best-practices in all dimensions of sustainability. The prize is awarded to projects bringing the most impactful inspiration about ecovillages/ecovillage lifestyles to a broad audience. In the 2021 edition we have received outstanding 25 applications from 18 countries across all of the 5 regions.
The Permayouth Project is based in Crystal Waters Ecovillage in Australia, as part of GEN Oceania & Asia. The Global Permayouth connects young people aged between 11-16 around the world – from Europe, Asia, Americas, Africa, Oceania and youth in refugee camps too. They gather together via zoom to explore what permaculture means in their local context, to learn about different ways of thinking about it and applying it.
This group is led by young people for young people, with Mentors from around the world too – Morag Gamble, Rosemary Morrow, Hannah Apricot Eckberg, Sierra Robinson, Charlie McGee, Fritjof Capra, Nora Bateson and many more to come.
They also organize a weekly newsletter, a monthly online festival, local camps, a youtube channel, and raise funds for the Permayouth clubs in refugee camps and villages. So far this year, around 1.000 young refugees across 10 camps and villages have received free permaculture training led by local teachers, and they have also been able to support the donation of tool and seed kits to start gardens, and/or seed-funding for local enterprises.
Here is the interview with several members as they share their journey and representatives of the jury highlight what made them stood out.
Hildur Jackson Award Runners Up
We also celebrate four other close contenders – two of them tied as third runner ups.
Khetee Regenerative Agroforestry Farm, India – first runner up
Khetee Regenerative Agroforestry Farm, in the semi-arid zone of India, restores land from monoculture practices to regenerative agroforestry where they plant around 24 types of crops and plant all grown together. Inside the farm they have found ample impact in improving soil quality, soil water retaining capacity, natural biodiversity and changing the quality of yields which helps in carbon sequestration, groundwater level recharge and making the ecosystem sustainable.
Between 2020 and 2021, Khetee developed 2 acres of new Agroforestry farm in the village to best showcase the model and its benefits. Under their Agroforestry Fellowship program, 11 fellows (7 marginalised women, 4 male farmers) successfully completed their fellowship. They started their new batch with 30 fellows (22 marginalised women, and youth) to get trained in Agroforestry. Khetee was also able to reach out to remote and tribal areas of Bihar to distribute dry ration.
Khetee works for community development through regenerative Agroforestry. If they receive the Hildr Jackson Award funds, they plan to support 400 households of Durdih Village to undertake introduced Gharbadi cultivation in homestead land to produce and consume clean, green, safe and nutritious vegetables for round the year. Nutrition Garden is an age-old practice in India where the women used to grow vegetables and fruits according to their need in the homestead reusing grey water of the house.
Ayrumã Ecovillage, Brazil – second runner up
Ayrumã Ecovillage is a sustainable settlement of 42 members in Cerrado, the Brazilian Savannah. Its creation in 2012 has taken place through a circular governance process that counted on the participation of all our members and countless collaborators in constant learning and transformation. In its formative process, a permacultural planning was carried out aiming at the environmental regeneration and conservation of a large part of the land, where the native forest is home to great biodiversity, preserving waters and native species of the Cerrado biome, one of the most biodiverse regions of the world.
Ayrumã carries out numerous activities focused on the valorization and rescue of socio-cultural traditions, environmental research and education, sustainability, and agroecology.
In order to strengthen a broad support network, Ayrumã has been articulating joint actions among community associations, schools and universities, third sector entities, and public administration.
Besides keeping on protecting 134 hectares of land in the Cerrado (the Brazilian savannah) – an internationally recognized biodiversity hotspot – through fire prevention and conduction of natural regeneration, Ayrumã Ecovillage promoted several activities related to environmental education and solidarity economy.
Eco-Clean Ghana – third runner up – tie
Eco-Clean Ghana Foundation is a Not for Profit organization that recycles waste into resources and creates entrepreneurial opportunities for the vulnerable in our society. It uses permaculture and ecovillage sustainable modules in turning waste into resources and creating livelihood empowerment opportunities. It empowers women and youth into generating income from plastic waste by turning these waste into school bags, laptop bags, and market bags. It also trains them on producing cleaning detergents (Liquid soap, shower gel, hand sanitizer, and bar soaps) for sale. Mushroom production training is also organized for these targets to produce and sell in the market to improve their livelihood.
Between 2020 and 2021, Eco-Clean Ghana was able to recycle over 1.5 tons of plastic waste. It has also recycled over 6 tons of degradable waste such as sawdust, rice bran and wheat bran into edible mushrooms. They have been able to directly organize livelihood empowerment training for over 76 youth and women. Eco-Clean Ghana also supported 3 local schools with 15 liters of cleaning detergents including liquid soap and hand sanitizers to mitigate and curb the spread of the COVID19 pandemic. Over 3000 people have benefitted from their products and radio advocacy programs made in 5 radio stations in our municipality.
Eco-Clean Ghana applied for the Hildur Jackson award to expand their sustainable projects and enable them to train even more women and youth who were hit hard in this COVID19 pandemic, with their livelihood skills development activities including Eco-bags production, Mushroom production and Cleaning Detergent Production.
Boekel Ecovillage, Netherlands – third runner up – tie
Boekel Ecovillage is a Dutch-based project that acts as a Living Lab, a real-life test and experimentation environment for a sustainable future. The 47 members of the ecovillage are users and producers, co-creating innovation and fostering user-driven open innovation. Founded in 2016, they have built a self-supporting village when it comes to energy, water and a major part of their food.
Boekel Ecovillage was recently recognised as “The Most Sustainable Organisation in the Netherlands” – a truly well deserved title, because this project combines an enormously wide range of aspects of sustainability: nature-inclusive, climate-adaptive, climate-positive, circular, biodiversity and social sustainability. The majority of the 36 social housing units in the strikingly circular project were built using natural materials and the rest were produced from waste materials. In addition, the professional way in which this citizens’ initiative was designed sets an example for others.
The jury, in the person of Robert Koolen, was very enthusiastic about the professional and integral way in which Boekel Ecovillage is organized. Koolen: “Not only in the formation of ideas and implementation, but also in the cooperation. It concerns innovative ideas that can be repeated in practice. And partly because of the self-sufficiency they are also affordable. Not only the whole, but also parts of it can inspire imitation. The direct link to the Sustainable Development Goals shows how you can translate abstract objectives of this kind into concrete actions.
Their lowtech innovative heat storage system is used to store summer heat into basalt and use that stored heat to warm their 36 houses for the rest of the year. This system is carbon free, uses 100% local energy and will result in zero energy costs to the ecovillagers. This system allows Boekel Ecovillage to balance out the top of energy production in the summer and energy demand in the winter!
Top Finalists for 2021 Hildur Jackson Award
We highlight five projects and ecovillages that applied this year and were finalists of the award.
Green Village Calauan, Philippines
Since 2013, excluded young adults have participated in the creation and construction of Green Village Calauan in the Philippines. Beyond the incredible impact they bring to the development of their own country, they became the real actors of their own development : they learned to work as a team, to manage a budget, to hold meetings with professionals such as engineers or suppliers. Above all, they discover that they have the credibility, talents, skills to present to an employer with this rewarding experience that is well worth the diplomas.
Musu Runakuna Indigenous Community, Colombia
In March 2017, the river that crosses Mocoa, south of Colombia, produced a landslide of water, mood, rocks and debris, razing 40% of Mocoa’s neighbourhoods, affecting more than 2300 families and killing +1000 people, including the settlement of the Musurrunakuna indigenous community. The Colombian government began the process to grant 69 Hectares for the reconstruction of the Musu Runakuna territory. Joining forces, Musu Runakuna Cabildo and CASA Latina Chapter Colombia are working on the sustainable reconstruction of the community’s settlement. At last, as of March 2021, the land is finally owned by the community.
Sonas Village, Cambodia
Sonas Village is a sustainable community development In Cambodia. They have been applying the holistic eco-village model since 2013. Since the start of the Covid -19 pandemic, Sonas Village has started seven new projects in different parts of Cambodia, growing from 55 families to 250 families across 5 villages. They have also started working with the indigenous communities in Mondulkiri province to preserve their culture and create a sustainable living for the forest communities.
Inkiri Community Piracanga
The Inkiri Community Piracanga, in Brazil, was founded in 2015 and is made up of 43 adults and 15 children. They dedicate themselves to the expansion of consciousness, realizing and inspiring the transformation of the planet that so many feel to be both necessary and urgent. Between 2020 and 2021, Inkiri Community has supported local communities in vulnerability with food and basic needs. They distributed more than 100 baskets with basic supplies and food in 5 different communities in their region, which attended to more than 500 people.
Ecovillage Chitubu, Zimbabwe
Ecovillage Chitubu is a part of the Schools and Colleges Permaculture (SCOPE) Zimbabwe, working since 1994 with young people throughout the country on practical environmental education Programme and sustainable lifestyles. In March 2018, SCOPE established a sustainable lifestyle learning Centre, Ecovillage Chitubu which aimed at showcasing ecovillage principles and offer inspiration for regenerative solutions. Amidst COVID19 crisis, Ecovillage Chitubu was joined by 58 female youths and their households. Among these, 29 are female-headed households struggling to meet their daily dietary needs of the families, 27 of them are caregivers of orphaned children.
Hildur Jackson Award
For Ecovillage Projects and Regenerative Solutions
The Global Ecovillage Network is made up of thousands of individuals and communities all over the world, innovating, rediscovering and implementing regenerative, just and pioneering ways of living together. The Hildur Jackson Award is given to extraordinary projects and exceptional solutions that bring the most impactful inspiration about ecovillages/ecovillage lifestyles into a broad audience. The prize is awarded to projects bringing the most impactful inspiration about ecovillages/ecovillage lifestyles to a broad audience.