The programme was developed in 2015-16 with the idea of up scaling the project being central. We wanted to give a pair of teachers, who are interested in permaculture and the environment, the information, tools and support they needed to run an after-school permaculture club for their interested pupils. The club members would have their individual plot to work on as well as doing general work around the school, according to a permaculture design created by the teachers during their training and developed throughout the year. 

We were unsure of the response, but were overwhelmed with the interest and while every school is very different, in terms of location and resources, all have made great strides in changing their physical environment and teaching students useful skills of permaculture. The aim is not a feeding programme, but each child has their own individual plot on which they learn about permaculture and can harvest nutritious and useful indigenous crops. They also tackle greater school problems such as flooding through implementing a school site design.

 

Permaculture teaches practical skills and tools to help people in Malawi get the most from their surrounding environment. It offers the potential to improve livelihoods in a sustainable manner, and we aim for MSPC to spread far and wide to reach as many children and communities as possible. How each pupil and school apply taught practices is completely individual, as there is no right or wrong answers in permaculture, and it is inspiring to see the variety of work being carried out in the 28 schools that are running clubs to date. 

 

An important factor for the success of this project is that both the schools and the pupils have self-selected themselves to be a part of MSPC. This individual dedication and motivation to learn permaculture allows our curriculum to be applied on-site with great enthusiasm and curiosity. We encourage questions to be asked and expect our teachers and students to think outside of the box as they expand their permaculture skills.

MSPC Malawi permaculture
MSPC Malawi permaculture

MSPC Malawi permaculture

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MSPC Malawi permaculture
MSPC Malawi permaculture

MSPC Malawi permaculture

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MSPC Malawi permaculture
MSPC Malawi permaculture

MSPC Malawi permaculture

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MSPC Malawi permaculture
MSPC Malawi permaculture

MSPC Malawi permaculture

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Registered Charity - Butterfly Space

Butterfly Space is a registered UK charity and an umbrella organisation for various community projects in Nkhata Bay, Northern Malawi. Started in 2007 by Josie Redmonds and Alice Leaper, Butterfly concentrated on broad topics linked to education, environment and community;  being one of Josie’s passions, school gardens, permaculture and environmental demonstrations were always involved. MSPC grew out of the school garden project, which was previously  implemented at a couple surrounding schools, now adapted to allow for scalability, decentralisation and self-selection. 

Where it all began...