Permaculture empowers people to feed themselves
Thabsile Gamedze and Clementine Ngshakala, recent graduates of Guba’s growing resilient communities: part 1 training project, are benefiting greatly from the skills they’ve learned. The project is centered around permaculture, a type of farming that focuses on sustainability and learns from processes found in nature. While Clementine had much experience with agriculture before enrolling in Guba’s course, Thabsile had none. “I didn’t know anything,” she claims. “I only knew that if I wanted vegetables, I would go to the supermarket, and that’s it.“
Before the course, Thabsile and Clementine were struggling to feed themselves and their families. Clementine says, “Previously, I always became sick, but now, me and my children are so strong! I used to be so weak, but now I come into the garden to eat and I am strong!” Thabsile’s situation has also improved drastically: “As far as food security is concerned, I’m stable,” she notes. “This has been a wonderful year to me. It was a turning point in my life.”
Clementine has been teaching permaculture to her 3 year-old granddaughter, Sebenele, who now loves to feed herself with all of the vegetables and herbs growing in the garden. Clementine wants “to teach permaculture to all the children. It will save their lives, and their children’s lives, and the lives of everyone they share it with. Even poor people can do this! You need no money, just your effort!”
Thabsile and Clementine continue to be an inspiration to their communities by sharing permaculture with all of their neighbours & the wider community. Clementine recently visited her local primary school with one of her neighbours who has also successfully graduated from the project, to raise awareness of permaculture & how it can be used to improve quality life without the need for external inputs. As Clementine tells it, “Life is about helping other people, and permaculture is just that. In life, you must engage in something you can leave for others.” Thabsile has written an inspiring poem about permaculture that is available on Guba’s Facebook page you can access through the Guba website at www.gubaswaziland.org.
Photo: Clementine Ntshakala (left) & Thabsile Gamedze (right) on the Guba Farm learning garden bed best practices.