Course Choice – Puzzle Pieces Falling Into Place

Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
~ Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

It took me some time to decide what course to develop for my current PID Program, but I finally got the necessary inspiration (and empowerment) from a free eBook one of my Permaculture former classmates shared with me this past week.

My choices were:

  1. Develop a “Transition training” 30 hour course for those interested in the topic, either because they wanted to join or start a transition group or because they were already engaged but wanted to further their understanding of transition and develop the necessary tools to become more efficient in their groups/communities. Although this is perfectly doable, I haven’t finished my own Transition training yet and need to be “certified” by the local hub or by Transition Network, so I will leave this project for a future time…
  2. Food Security/Sovereignty for Community builders/workers: this topic, although complex, was going to be easy because I had already developed most of it as an “online” course for my previous VCC certificate in Online Instruction. This course would include awareness and community mapping/assessment of food needs/gaps and assets as well as risk and skills assessment and short courses on food security strategies, from seed libraries and community gardens to food preservation, basics of healthy nutrition and food safety. This is a course I would love to finish developing (and eventually delivering) but it is an easy one for me and I like challenges, so I decided to put this one in my “tool” list for now…
  3. And the winner is….”Introduction to Permaculture for Community Champions”. The idea here is that self-identified community champions, from youth involved in sustainability/resilient communities networks to anybody with the willingness and ability to become a community champion (including social and community workers employed by agencies, local governments, schools, etc.) can attend this course to become familiar with Permaculture ethics, principles, patterns and systems as well as the different management strategies and techniques to address community issues that may be unique to their neighbourhoods, communities or even families. Similar to #2, this course includes skills to create community mapping/assessment of needs, gaps, assets, skills and resources but participants are expected to analyze case studies, discuss, assess their own community/family/neighbourhood and create both a portfolio of tools as well as a final project where they will demonstrate their understanding of Permaculture ethics and principles. The course is not a Permaculture Design Certificate as those are required to be longer (at least 72 hours), but would provide the tools and basic concepts to those interested in the topic and who want to work or are currently working with vulnerable communities, families, etc.

What this means is that from now on my posts here may become more “Permaculture-Food Security-Transition” based but may also be scarcer as I need to focus on this project. It is a great way to link together my current “Transition” training, my required Permaculture Portfolio that I need to start working on for my Permaculture Diploma (specializing in Education and Social/Community service), my future “Train the trainer” as Permaculture instructor that I am planning for next March 2014 and my PIDP graduation…at the same time, if this is successful and can be implemented, many communities may benefit as the course requires that graduates implement some of the projects in their lives, neighbourhoods, organizations or communities…yeah!

The greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens. If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone. Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food and shelter.”
~ Bill Mollison

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