by Konkankoh Joshua from London, England
My reconnection here with like-minded nature enthusiasts of Global Eco Village Network GEN and Ndanifor Garden’s UK Trust immediately frames everything I expect to do in the ‘Transition to Resilience Learning Adventure for Change Makers’ organized by the Findhorn Foundation and GEN Europe from 8-14 March 2014 in Scotland.
After the intensive training in designing the Ndanifor Permaculture Eco Village last year in Sieben Linden Ecovillage Germany through Design Education for Sustainable Development EDE, it has been a very hectic 2013 of integrity and leadership by the Cameroon Team which has created the soul both of the organization and the people within it.
It was therefore with a jolly good spirit of adventure and high expectation that I travelled to Farnham Surrey, southern London on 26 February to meet the UK and GEN Team represented by Robert Simpson, Kevin Mascarenhas and Steve Mangan. We sat down and we came up with the road map and end goals of setting up and delivering the Ndanifor Permaculture Eco Village Project in Bafut. An implementation plan based on introduction of High Valued Agricultural Products HVAP to be integrated with native crops, linked up to an Eco Village Fair Trade Initiative for marketing in Europe. Both plat forms to be spiced up with youth camps for sustainable development education and youth exchange.
The plan revolves around extending the existing income generating base of the present 5 acres of land being used for organic growing of food crops. Through developing small businesses in the Permaculture trial plot already mapped out, building capacities through training of trainers and putting up ecological buildings, the plan should give a sustainable economic outlook during the funding years. Our endeavor to reconfigure this transition for BWC was guided by the vision of the power of community already demonstrated on the land so far and involving the Bafut community as much as possible, improving their standard of life within planetary limits. We tried as much as possible to move away from the present world’s attention on money and power to maintaining participant’s deep engagement and interactions with the natural world through native plant identification conservation, healthy food production and processing of botanical extracts. We agreed that our corporate strategy would be focused on reviving the knowledge of our ancestors incarnated in the ‘Spirit of Ndanifor’ for the healing of the land and all of nature within it.
The climax of this learning and sharing adventure was to drive to Portsmouth to join the international advisory team member, Jo Sugrue, and to Hampshire to meet another head of overseas support group in Cameroon, Patrick Mballa. We all agreed on the Bafut Eco Village building collaborative relations with other green belt movements and tapping into the on-going decentralization process in Cameroon to promote Permaculture and GEN strategies.
*Spirit of Ndanifor is about a Sense of place, inter-being and connection which is simultaneously right in Cameroon and everywhere else!