- Promotes permaculture/Sustainable Ecological Agricultural practices in schools and communities in Kenya to enhance their food, Nutrition and income security using environmental friendly technologies.
- Promotes Integrated Land Use Design (ILUD), an inclusive and participatory transformative step by step development process which school communities can use to implement Permaculture, to transform people’s minds, develop whole school designed landscape with food forest, to demonstrate agro – ecology in their school for the benefit of whole community hence contributing towards the building of community resilience.
- Builds the capacity of members to enhance their knowledge and skills in permaculture principles and practices to respond appropriately to community needs.
- Promotes learning among members through sharing of information on development experiences, innovations, and best practices.
- Increase the opportunities for young people in and out of schools to participate in agricultural and environmental conservation activities in schools.
- Strengthens linkages and collaboration through action learning among and members.
- Lobbies (directly) for change and inclusion of agriculture activities in the school programmes.
- Facilitate the establishment of Permaculture Model schools in all regions across the country to become centres for learning among other schools and communities.
- Promotes local Seed Security and hence food security among farming communities.
- Promotes the mainstreaming of the Gender and HIV / AIDS in Agriculture Development Programme.
Why Work with School Communities
Poverty, Unemployment, drugs and substance abuse, high crime rates, environmental degradation and growing cases of non-communicable diseases are major concern among Kenyans. All this problems have their root cause in,
(a) Our school education system which has been criticized for producing graduates who enter the workforce without much needed skills to meet our development needs to solve the challenges of 21st century.(Some of the skills include creative thinking, team work and ability to show ingenuity through deep analysis).
The 21st century is awash with intricate problems that require these skills. Such problems include those associated with climate change – hunger, famine, floods, global warming, diseases, and loss of biodiversity, among others. The formal education system in Kenya is letting the majority of young people down. The system, by and large, serves a small minority who are able to go on and complete tertiary education and get jobs thereafter. Part of the problem is an over-emphasis on theoretical and academic education and little attention on the value of practical work.
(b) Our lifestyle and choice of food which pose a greater challenges to humans health and ecosystems as it disconnects people from their key livelihood sources, their environment, culture, values and community cohesion.
SCOPE Kenya and Member Organizations work with school communities to promote Permaculture as a sustainable farming systems that enhances production and consumption of nutritious food, improves household income, create cool micro climate in schools and improve participation of young people and adults in environmental conservation.
Currently, In Kenya, agriculture has a very low status amongst young people, reasons being, society views small-scale farming as being low on the ladder of opportunities for young people as it’s not enterprising. One is regarded as a failure if they become a farmer. Another reason, linked to this, is that environmental and agricultural activities are commonly used as a form of punishment in schools. With such experiences, it is not surprising that young people want to move away from farming. Yet, farming presents one of the best opportunities for future livelihoods for young people in Kenya.
Therefore, Children need to be in a school whose grounds ought to be a fine example of creative, intensely productive and sustainable use of land. They need to grow up learning how to relate and work with nature as stewards, as opposed to the ‘fight and dominate nature’ attitude that prevails today. They need to learn how to grow nutritious food and understand why traditional diets were so healthy for people, diets that continue to be rejected in favour of processed foods which are now being related to a number of life-threatening diseases. Children need to leave school with the tools of how to creatively design and use any piece of land in a productive way. The potential is enormous because agro-ecology and good design can both use the land productively and sustainably while at the same time tapping young people’s knowledge learnt in schools as well as their creative abilities.
Land is the single most important natural resource suitable for development, however School grounds, though they set aside for learning, they are normally undervalued/ underutilized resource in community development. SCOPE focuses in mobilization and utilization of all available local resources to create sustainable productive systems.
Schools ground are known to be centres for community activities and every farmer is within a school catchment area making schools to be good entry points into communities. On the other hand schools are melting point where the future meets the present, this is because the young learners in schools today are the future farmers, entrepreneurs and leaders, our single most task is to create good learning environment in schools which triggers creative thinking, innovativeness and teamwork hence prepare learners realize their dream.
Young people in schools, apart from being good and fast learners than adults, they are known to be good agents of information transfer, by virtue of being daily link between school and communities, any technology implemented in school compound will reach out to many community members faster using little resources.
SCOPE Kenya works with all school communities (learners, teachers, parents and local leaders) and use the whole school ground to develop and implement a designed productive landscapes with food forest and sustainable environmental conservation systems which apart from meeting current school community’s needs, connects learners to their culture, nature and gives them an opportunity to learn.