By Carolyn Olang
Edited by Jessica Perini
The Shegenerative movement in Kenya was born when human rights activist, Carolyn Olang, attended a PDC at the behest of her friend Helen Stokes. Carolyn noticed that few women were attending PDCs and she felt that “this gospel of permaculture needs to be preached to every woman”.
In Carolyn’s words, permaculture is “the answer to the most basic human challenge which is food and nutrition security. There was a Damascus moment then and l decided l wanted to do a PDC with females only.”
Carolyn got together with Wegesa Fraser and Alice Mwangi “who are gurus in their own right where matters of regeneration are concerned” and other incredible women, and men (Ms Goldy’s Farm, Roland Van Reneen, and Dj Essy) soon joined the fold.
The “New opportunities for Women in Permaculture” (NOW in Permaculture) PDC took place in Kendu Bay, a semi-arid part of Nyanza, in April 2022. Mamas converged at the venue, some with children, and a demo farm was born out of this initiative. Three weeks later a family that was spending $US3 almost daily was able to take care of their vegetable needs without buying food, and now they have so much excess they share with their community.
The current drought has seen devastation in the demo garden, but the syntropic agroforest has weathered the drought well.
Carolyn and the team trained some 22 local women who are now practising and helping spread the Shegenerative movement to refugees and host communities through Kenya as well as Uganda. Working in Nakivale refugee settlement, they have trained over 40 refugee women.
In 2023, in the wake of Kenya’s dalliance with GMOs and the villainous outlawing of indigenous seed saving, the theme for this year’s Shegenerative PDC is “Our Seeds, Our Heritage”.
Carolyn states, “Food is a basic right and seeds are at the centre of its production. We want mamas to share heirloom seeds with daughters so that our heritage, our culture, and our food needs are secured!”
To sponsor a student please contact Carolyn Olang and help raise a girl or woman in permaculture today!
To find out more about Carolyn and the Shegenerative movement watch the interview.