Re Alliance Webinar | Introducing water harvesting guidelines for growing food in camps
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Re Alliance Webinar | Introducing water harvesting guidelines for growing food in camps

What is greywater, and how can you safely use it in refugee camps and settlements? How can you capture and use rainwater for food growing in contexts of displacement? This one hour session shares learnings from a recent project funded by Malteser International and conducted by Re-Alliance and Syrian Academic Expertise around food growing in Syrian Internally Displaced Peoples' (IDP) camps. The session focuses on the collection, storage and use of rainfall and greywater. Working in three IDP camp sites in A’zaz and Jarablus in Northwest Syria, the pilot project tested the viability of creating vegetable gardens to grow food irrigated in part by harvested rainwater and greywater. Research has shown the benefits of gardening to those living in temporary settlements by providing fresh and nutritious food, meaningful activity, a sense of belonging or home, and feelings of well-being, particularly in the wake of trauma. It has also shown how replenishing soils, creating healthy water cycles, space for biodiversity, planting trees and perennial crops, and minimising waste can have an equally positive impact on both human and ecological health. In areas of limited rainfall and high temperatures, nearly all food crops will need additional irrigation water to supplement rainfall. By identifying and promoting simple, low tech options for capturing and re-using greywater and rainwater for irrigation, and creating compost from food waste, growing food can become an accessible option for many households. Speakers include Mary Mellett, Juliet Millican, and Jackie Kearney from the Re-Alliance team; Dr Shaher Abdullateef, founder of Syrian Academic Expertise (SAE); and Richard Luff, independent humanitarian consultant and WASH advisor.
Re-Alliance Webinar | Treebogs: integrating compost toilets, tree planting and soil building
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Re-Alliance Webinar | Refugee-Led Permaculture Education - Morag Gamble and Bemeriki Bisimwa Dusabe
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Re-Alliance Webinar | Refugee-Led Permaculture Education - Morag Gamble and Bemeriki Bisimwa Dusabe

In this Re-Alliance webinar, Morag Gamble (Permaculture Education Institute, Permayouth, Ethos Foundation) and Bemeriki Bisimwa Dusabe (Rwamwanja Rural Foundation, Uganda) examine Refugee-Led Permaculture Education & Action in East Africa. Morag and Bemeriki have seen the direct benefit that refugee-led, flexible and responsive approach to permaculture education, action and enterprise is bringing to people in a growing number of refugee settlements and host communities in East Africa. This program is a collaboration between the Permaculture Education Institute, Permayouth, the Ethos Foundation, Rwamwanja Rural Foundation, many local hubs, supporters from around the world, and connections with global networks. Their work is now attracting global attention through magazine articles, film-making and a big part of the Global Permayouth program that is shortlisted for a number of global awards - 2021 including the Lush Spring Prize (Influence Category) and the Hildur Jackson Award 2021. These permaculture education programs in East Africa are reaching many refugee communities. Bemeriki is a highly trained long-term refugee who knows what is needed, what has worked, and also experienced many failed programs. So far he has organised and led training for over 500 people this year alone - Permayouth, foster carers, women’s groups. Morag offers permaculture mentoring, networking, access to educational programs and certification, and coordinates the crowd-funding. Morag and Bemeriki have been working together now for about 2 years and can say with confidence that this approach is changing lives, opening possibilities, building food resilience and self-determination. It is also building global alliances and influencing thinking about ways to support refugees beyond the camps. Within the camps, this work is being noticed. For example, the Office of Prime Minister has offered land for a demonstration farm and learning centre. The Ugandan government Ministry responsible for training has officially certified the Permaculture Changemakers course. The UNHCR nominates people needing this education and opens courses. In this session Morag and Bemeriki share the story of this myceliating refugee-led permaculture education program in East Africa - now an East African chapter of Permaculture for Refugees. They show how this program has grown from one Permayouth program in one camp to a strong movement with a regional online learning community, and an emergence of the culture of permaculture through music, photography, film, books and more.