In 2019, a small group of permaculture educators, acted on their shared vision to bring permaculture design and understanding into refugee camps. Permaculture for Refugees (P4R) emerged, led by Rosemary Morrow (permaculture teacher), and was designed to learn first-hand the challenges and possible value of permaculture in refugee camps, and to increase insights and experience. To find out more about the history of P4R, go here.

P4R coordinated and taught Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) courses – to teach permaculture principles and strategies, from harvesting water and waste recycling to alternative economies and group decision-making. These invaluable skills and knowledge are applicable anywhere – in camps, at home should refugees return, or to support their integration into host communities.

We have found by experience and practice that permaculture education with refugees in camp settlements and in their new host countries, improves people’s lives immensely, through skills and knowledge that can be applied directly to work and life situations.

With seeing this permaculture land now, I am encouraged to work in this area and want to be the first youth in Afghanistan who makes the first farm of permaculture. In addition, I want to be an encouragement for other youth to do permaculture work and with this work, they would understand that the best way for keeping the nature alive is the permaculture method.

Permaculture student from Afghanistan, Bahar’s Dream

P4R focuses primarily on education, while also supporting the P4R regional networks and the development of projects, that bring permaculture and refugees together.

The following are general activities we are involved in. Some of them are part of the professional services that we offer, others are side-products of our activities and functional to the formers. All our activities are informed by Permaculture Design.

  • Permaculture training, projects and workshops for refugee-centred camps, local non-government organisations (NGOs), international NGOs, communities and local host communities.
  • Consulting services for new and existing camps and communities.
  • Publications, toolboxes of methods and activities to support positive relationships between refugees, camp managers, and host communities.
  • Follow-up & evaluation activities for camps and communities.
  • On-going mentoring & technological support
  • Networking & liaising with local associations, NGO/INGO workers and permaculturalists experienced in refugee training.

Marguerite Kahrl talks about a Permaculture Design Course held for Syrian Refugee women in Turkey.

P4R has the experience and know-how to work with refugee communities and support them in achieving their potential, through applying low-cost strategies and running related workshops. 

Rosemary Morrow