Construction of a Children’s Eco-Village

Eco-Village featuring an Education Center

Mangwende Orphan Care Trust
Dombodzvuku Primary School
Post Box 830
Marondera, Zimbabwe
Tel: +263772954545
Email: mangwendeorphancaretrust@gmail.com

Total Project Cost:
$141,168.93 RTGs dollars
US $ 40,333.98

 

Mangwende Orphan Care Trust Contribution:

10 hectares land, river sand, thatching grass, maize, beans, sorghum and millet seeds

  • 7000 interlocking bricks
  • Vegetable seedlings and seeds (cabbages, beetroot, carrots, onions, garlic, potatoes, tomatoes, kale and lettuce)

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Mangwende Orphan Care Trust (M.O.C.T) is a charity organization wanting to design and develop an eco-village for orphaned and abandoned children featuring an education center.
We are seeking a grant to establish this holistic children’s eco-village/ Permaculture academy.
The children’s Eco village design is planned as a self-sustaining village with clear zoning of programs.
We need a master plan for this holistic children’s eco-village with facilities such as;
a kitchen, library, and houses for staff, students, visitors, volunteers, classrooms, solar station, biogas facility, food forest, tree nursery, seed bank, organic farming, regenerative farming, permaculture, natural farming and natural building demonstration site.

STATEMENT OF NEED

In Zimbabwe today there are more than 2 million orphans and vulnerable children and many communities are vulnerable to drought and hence, experience hunger and malnutrition from time to time.
This scenario raises many questions about what went wrong with the agricultural revolution technologies such as the use of fertilizers, improved seed, and irrigation schemes from Government and donor investments in agricultural research.
Lack of access to education is a big problem particularly in practical sustainability that is directly relevant to their lives.
Besides the challenges of availability, it is also a lack of knowledge that stands in the way of balanced nutrition.

OUR RESPONSE:

We revived the Zunde raMambo traditional farming practice using Permaculture Design Principles.
Zunde is a social security system providing protection against food shortages to vulnerable families and is coordinated by Chiefs.
The Chief will designate land for growing food crops as protection against food shortages.
Members of the community take turns to participate in the entire production process from ploughing and sowing to weeding and harvesting voluntarily.
The harvest is stored in granaries at village headman’s homestead as food reserves, which will be distributed in the event of food shortages.
Priority is given to older persons, orphans, vulnerable and persons with disabilities.
The voluntary participation helps to sharpen the community’s sense of belonging and identity.
Mangwende Orphans Care trust is the organization working with communities to promote Zunde raMambo using Permaculture Design Principles.


Phase 1: Permaculture Farmer Field School

We will start as a permaculture farmer field school which will be slowly developed into an academy.
In this phase students will be selected from 16 villages to be trained as trainers.
During training the students will build working models of food production systems i.e. regenerative, organic, natural farming and natural building demonstration site, and other appropriate technologies in the village.
These models are proof that the training works and can also be copied and replicated in other areas. Trained trainers will go back to their villages to train others on Zunde plots. Zunde plots will be used as permaculture farmer field schools within the community and will help to reduce the distance local farmers have to travel to acquire knowledge thereby contributing to project sustainability.
The Zunde initiative will provide a platform for interaction among framers, local leaders, and service providers/facilitators.

Our design will start with the scale of permanence.

Water management strategies

Water planning comes first, as water is our number one priority for any permaculture system.
After designing the water systems, we can consider were to put roads and paths.
The water systems developed in the first phase will become permanent land features that other infrastructure components will follow.


Land design

Shaping the earth to our advantage, that is starting path works for optimizing water retention.
This involves shaping the earth in a way that promotes water infiltration, distribution and storage.


Construction

Natural building:
– we want to focus on ways of building that minimize the use of products that require considerable embodied energy for their manufacture or transportation.

Construction of:
one classroom for 60 people,
6 composting toilets,
6 bathrooms,
seed bank,
2 houses for students,
2 houses for staff and
2 houses for visitors.


Nursery

Setting up of fruit trees, indigenous trees and herbal trees nursery.


Renewable Energy

Solar and biogas energy installations.

Components of the farm to be considered.


Soil management strategies


Students will design the Eco village

Phase 2: Construction of the village

Construction of foster care homes for orphans, vulnerable and abandoned children. Creating spaces for the children.
Construction of the community kitchen, information technology center and community library.
All these will be designed by permaculture students in phase 1.

Phase 3: Construction of the Academy

The permaculture farmer field school will be slowly developed into an academy and the designs of the academy are done in phase 1.

Construction of a six-block sustainability school including a library, information and technology center,
six class room school blocks for over 400 underprivileged children and community children hailing from the poorest families who cannot afford to pay for quality education in other schools.

The objective is to provide free quality education that will equip underprivileged children for employment upon graduation.

Goals and objectives

The goal of constructing a holistic children’s Eco village for the underprivileged students, orphans, widows and the community at large, is to create a working model permaculture farm that will showcase new permaculture ideas and techniques, hosting training programs, and serve as an educational community center.

Main Objectives Are to:

  1.  Create a place where the children who will live there could feel at home and find a sense of belonging and happiness and to help children in need to grow and develop in a family setting.

  2. Teach rural communities to look after their own orphans, widows, elderly, and to involve them in decisions affecting their lives.

  3. Teach farmers sustainable agricultural practices to improve the soil fertility of their degraded farmland and reduce their dependency on unsustainable agricultural inputs such as synthetic fertilizers.

  4. To promote ecological, cultural and economic resilience in our poor rural communities by continuing to develop our small-scale permaculture site to serve as a model and training center for trainers, local farmers and international permaculture students.

  5. To be a model of sustainable development and self-sufficiency for the whole of Zimbabwe and to provide a dynamic model for organic, ecologically designed high production farming techniques on small acreages with minimal use of energy and water, beneficial recycling and composting of waste materials, and integration of multiple components including orchards, food forests, composting, natural building, organic Farming, chickens, goats, fish and bees.

  6. To provide permaculture design courses at least twice for international and local students and to revive the knowledge of farming traditions before fuel and chemical products using new techniques and technologies to replace the unsustainable agriculture.

The Project Timeline

This project has a timeline of 12 months from the date grant proposal is submitted to donor(s)

Activities Month Remark
Acquisition of land June 2018 Acquired
Submit Project Proposal March 2019
Expected grant notification June 2019
Procurement of building materials August 2019 Phase 1
Construction of buildings begins November 2019 Phase 1
Completion of buildings January 2020 Phase 1
Enrolment of students November 2019 Training of permaculture trainers
Recruitment of teachers August 2019 Permaculture Aid Specialists, natural building, water and soil management specialists.
Classes begin November 2019 For 1 month
Evaluation and report February 2020 Done by an independent organization.

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