Global Eco-Village Network in Africa
- Thank you to Janet Feldman for engaging Jonathan Dawson of GEN-Europe
http://www.gen-europe.org regarding the creation of a global eco-village
network in Africa. I spoke briefly today with Jonathan and he agreed
that I share his letters and that I sign him up for our Global Villages
and Holistic Helping working groups. He is currently completing work on
his book, but meanwhile we can continue discussions through our groups.
There is already a GEN-Senegal lead by Ismael Diallo and Marian Zeitlin.
I invite Ismael and Marian to join us, please send blank messages to
firstname.lastname@example.org or simply write to me at
ms@... and I will sign you up. Franz Nahrada leads our Global Villages
working group which helps us transform our villages in this age of
global networks. Janet Feldman leads our Holistic Helping working group
where we learn to care about all aspects of life as we help each other,
and with special attention to Africa. These are parts of our Minciu
Sodas laboratory http://www.ms.lt for serving and organizing independent
thinkers around the world.
Joy Tang and Jeff Buderer are active members of our laboratory who lead
http://www.onevillage.biz which is responding to the AIDS challenge in
Africa by building unity centers within villages. They have leaders and
networks in Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Nigeria. I think they might help
organize GEN-Africa. We have much to learn from Senegal. We are excited
to work together.
I look forward to our letters at our groups!
+370 (699) 30003
Jonathan Dawson wrote:
> Dear friends,
> Many thanks to Janet for initiating and keeping this dialogue
> I am copying two additional people into the discussions:
> Ismael Diallo, President of GEN Senegal and a member of the Board
> of GEN
> Marian Zeitlin, Director of GEN’s Living and Learning Centre at
> Yoff, Senegal and initiator of the GEN Senegal network.
> Marian and Ismael, you will find details of our discussions to
> date below. The discussions revolve around attempts to create an
> autonomous African ecovillage body.
> I very much look forward to getting to know each of those on this
> discussion list and pursuing this dialogue in a lively and
> imaginative way.
> Jonathan Dawson,
> Executive Secretary,
> Findhorn Foundation,
> The Park, Findhorn,
> Moray IV36 3TZ,
> Tel&fax: (44) (0)1309 692448
> Dear Jonathan, Joy and Jeff, Andrius and Franz,
> Hello and fantastic to hear about your book, Jonathan!! I eagerly
> await its publication, and am sure some of the cc'd friends will
> too! There has been a list drawn up by some of us, of resources we
> have found related to eco-villages in Africa--and others of us who
> have contacts with or know of eco-endeavors in Africa--so I have
> taken the liberty of ccing Jeff Buderer and Joy Tang of the
> oneVillage Foundation (www.onevillagefoundation.org
> <http://www.onevillagefoundation.org> ) in that regard.
> And also am ccing Franz Nahrada of GIVE/ERDE, based in Austria,
> and Andrius Kulikauskas of Minciu Sodas Labs, based in Lithuania,
> as we all work together, and I know they will have some interest
> in GEN as it relates to Europe, as well as Africa. I have
> mentioned their websites below, and for everyone, I have included
> below the letters between Jonathan Dawson and myself.
> Jonathan is the Executive Secretary for GEN-Europe (Global
> Eco-Village Network), located in Scotland, and he and I have been
> corresponding for awhile. One of the things we have discussed is
> the possibility of developing a self-standing network of
> eco-village endeavors in Africa, which could operate as an entity
> in its own right and still be linked to the GEN "family" of
> networks globally.
> Jonathan and Andrius, although I had heard of GEN previously--and
> Joy-Jeff (OVF) and I (as well as others working on eco-friendly
> projects in Africa) had mentioned our interest in some possible
> discussions and linkage with GEN--this conversation between
> Jonathan and I began because of a posting done by an Italian GEN
> member, to Minciu Sodas. I have pasted that posting and exchange
> in below.
> I look forward to mutual discussions--of anyone interested--and
> hopefully some way in which we can all work together! With all
> best wishes and immense thanks, Janet
> Jonathan Dawson,
> Executive Secretary,
> Findhorn Foundation,
> The Park, Findhorn,
> Moray IV36 3TZ,
> Tel&fax: (44) (0)1309 692448
> Dear Janet,
> Many thanks for yours.
> It was commissioned by the Schumacher Society, so thankfully, I do
> not need to hunt for a publisher. It should be on the shelves by
> early May!
> Your thinking on Africa is very welcome and I am keen to continue
> exploring the potential for networking between our networks. As I
> have said, our experience has been in the main that the African
> initiatives associated with GEN have been more interested in
> technical assistance than networking and so – with the notable
> exception of the large cluster of ecovillages in Senegal – the
> various virtual networks we have helped set up are in fact dormant.
> So, I am really interested to learn from you how we can make
> networking without technical or financial assistance effective.
> Looking forward to keeping the dialogue going
> *Dear Jonathan,
> *Hello to hear from you too, and how exciting on your book!!
> This will be greatly welcomed, and when will it be published,
> do you have a target? I think I've caught you now at almost
> the end of your week of free time, so you may not have time to
> respond for awhile, which is fine.
> *I thought I would write up, when I get a chance, of list of
> eco-villages and related projects which I know of in Africa.
> You make a good point about these activities and projects not
> being as well-developed, and I also understand the pressures
> and issues related to funding. The idea I had in mind was to
> establish just the kind of networking and network you mention,
> among the projects and activities I and others know of or are
> linked to in some way. As a way to keep informed and connected
> about activities in Africa, to discuss common problems, and
> offer support (in the "moral" sense) as well as perhaps some
> possibility of joint projects, grant-writing, and links to
> Northern orgs in various ways.
> *For example, there are a group of us who net/work
> together--some in the USA but whose work is based in the
> South, some based in Europe and working there (to whom I've
> like to connect you in any case, and in fact you may know of
> them already), some based in Europe but whose work is based in
> the South, some based in the South and working there--and most
> of us interested in social entrepreneurship, the use of ICTs
> for development, sustainable practices and eco-villages. We
> represent orgs like KAIPPG and ActALIVE (www.kaippg.org
> <http://www.kaippg.org> and www.actalive.org
> <http://www.actalive.org> ), oneVillage Foundation
> <http://www.onevillagefoundation.org> ), WOUGNET
> (www.wougnet.org <http://www.wougnet.org> ), Minciu Sodas
> (www.ms.lt <http://www.ms.lt> ), and GIVE/ERDE (http://w
> ww.erde.lt/ <http://www.erde.lt/> and
> *The reason I have mentioned Africa as having its own network,
> linked to GEN, is this: because I know of projects in Africa
> which are eco-villages, or eco-oriented, or working towards
> same, and who I think would get great benefit from networking
> with one another, and also net/working in varying capacities
> with GEN members globally as well. Myself and some others who
> have links to same would be interested in helping to create
> this. It would not be developed with the idea in mind that GEN
> Europe or elsewhere would fund it, and I think that should be
> made clear in however this is approached.
> *We could do this anyway, of course, but it seems exciting to
> think of some linkage and connections with others worldwide
> doing the same, and I am so excited and inspired by GEN that I
> did want to approach you about this idea.
> *There are connections we--meaning perhaps KAIPPG, oneVillage,
> and ERDE, for example--can hopefully make with you in any
> case, and others like the eco-village of the Nyumbani Home for
> Children in Kenya which would enjoy such a connection
> (www.nyumbani.org <http://www.nyumbani.org> ). I could
> definitely see interchanges, expertise-swapping, volunteers
> travelling back and forth, perhaps some "thin-client" kind of
> activity (ie ICTs in the North boosting capacity of ICTs in
> the South).
> *So this is where my thinking is, and hope we can continue
> discussions on some or all of these ideas! With all best
> wishes and BIG BRAVOS for your book and work!! With blessings
> and immense thanks, Janet
> *Dear Janet,
> Thanks for your persistence!!
> I have just emerged from writing a book on ecovillages that
> has required me to be very uni-focused. Now, I have submitted
> the first draft and probably have a week or so free-ish to
> engage with other things, before working on the final draft.
> So, yes, I am once again open for communications. Let me
> explain GEN’s position in relation to Africa. Part of
> GEN-Europe’s mandate was to foster the development of
> ecovillages and ecovillage networks in Africa and the
> Middle-East. However, and this is our biggest single dilemma,
> GEN is a networking organisation, facilitating the flow of
> information and exchange visits between existing ecovillages
> and those who are interested in them. This works well in the
> Northern context where there already exist a good number of
> It works less well with regards to Africa where the most
> common request is for financial or technical assistance. We
> are a very small organisation with minimal funding and so are
> simply unable to respond to this type of request. We are,
> however, able to identify ecovillage designers and other
> professionals who can be of assistance or to send them to
> Senegal, the one country in Africa where there is a
> well-established and funded ecovillage network.
> Let me leave it there for the moment. I look forward to
> hearing your reaction.
> *JEFF: I posted along your message on the Auroville meeting in
> S. Africa to Jonathan:
> **Dear Jonathan,
> Hello and hope you've been having a wonderful 2006! Also that
> you did get my notes during the last months of 2005! I wanted
> to try to pick up the conversation if we can, and also to send
> you this below, about a meeting in Africa of a branch of an
> Indian eco-project called Auroville.
> *This might be a way to pick up on our discussion about an
> Africa-based "eco" (villages/projects) representation, and I'd
> also like to introduce you to some others who are working in
> this field in Africa (via mail and perhaps even meeting up at
> some point).
> *With all best wishes and thanks, and hope that your
> eco-"auro" will always be strong, haha! Janet
> AFRICA - AUROVILLE - AVI Meeting in Cape Town
> 17 - 26 March 2006
> The Miracle of Trans formation
> "Auroville wants to be a universal town where men and women of all
> countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony
> above all
> creeds, all politics and all nationalities. The purpose of
> Auroville is to
> realise human unity."
> Auroville, an emerging city on South India's Coromandel Coast,
> with about
> 2000 residents from 40 countries, is internationally
> recognised as an
> ongoing experiment in human unity in diversity, and in
> sustainable living.
> On the basis of a broad evolutionary vision, new ways are
> explored to meet the environmental, economic, cultural, social and
> spiritual needs of mankind for the 21st century.
> Please visit Auroville's comprehensive website at
> http://www.auroville.org for
> more details.
> ****************The start of posts at Minciu and Global Villages
> (Franz's forum):
> Reply-To: kaippg@...
> From: "Janet Feldman" <kaippg@...>
> To: email@example.com, aajac-colufifa@...,
> firstname.lastname@example.org, info@...,
> Subject: RE: One Village and ecovillages in Africa/ICTs in
> India and Cambodia (Laurent and Jim)/Kerry
> Dear Andrius, Laurent, Joy, Jim, Kerry, Franz, GEN
> members, and All,
> Hello and this is excellent, Andrius and Laurent! The GEN
> subject is one I have been meaning to get back to myself,
> because I noticed the same thing you did when I first ran
> across GEN last year--and thought then that this would
> make an excellent opportunity for our networks and orgs
> working there now. Giraffes, start stretching your necks,
> A number of us are working there in various capacities, so
> the combined forces would indeed be a powerful and
> homegrown (al beit with some linkages out of Africa)
> network and movement. The Nyumbani Ecovillage (Kenya),
> Urgent Africa Village (Kenya), the GRASSUP project (not
> strictly a village but a consortium for multi-village
> improvement), SOS Children's Villages (SA), Asante Akim
> and Patriensa (Ghana), OVF's network of orgs and hubs, and
> a number of others could be drawn into this effort. It
> will be great to hear some feedback from GEN and am
> delighted you have cc'd them, Andrius.
> And Laurent, what a small world about the Motoman project!
> I'd love to know more about the Cambodian teacher you
> mention, and also, is Nicholas Negroponte who they are
> speaking of when they mention that the project originated
> with a foreigner? There is an excellent conference at MIT
> this weekend, in fact, on ICTs for social change, with
> poverty a focus, this partly in prep for WSIS 2005. That
> is at http://www.occam.org/new/doc/IWC2005/
> . They have also been working on a portal-design system
> for delivery of educational materials to the public, I
> think, and I know some good work is going on in terms of
> sustainable environmental practices (R&D), some of this
> connected to Kenya, in fact (so perhaps some linkages
> could emerge from that).
> Would that be a project you think we could or should have
> some direct connection with--and that we can learn
> from--and if so, would you consider making that type of
> connection with them, Laurent? And the same for Jim with
> his India project.
> Kerry (hello!), and how does this connect to your idea of
> the the drop-in centres (which are also business
> incubators, is that right?), and could you elaborate on
> that some more?
> With greatest thanks and all best wishes, Janet
> ----- Original Message -----
> *From:* Andrius Kulikauskas <mailto:ms@...>
> *Sent:* 4/16/2005 11:14:09 PM
> *Subject:* [1village] One Village and ecovillages in
> Hi Joy, Jeff, Jim, Franz, Janet and all,
> I spent a little time looking for global village
> networks for our directory:
> I noticed that the Global Ecovillage Network is quite
> robust. However,
> they do not have a separate African network. Instead,
> it is being
> fostered by the Eur opean network, with especially
> good contacts in
> Senegal. I include a link and page below.
> I'm wondering if they might be interest in the role
> that oneVillage
> http://www.onevillagefoundation.org might play as a
> catalyst. Perhaps
> even oneVillage might fit as the network for Africa,
> if that might be possible.
> I share my letter so they might learn more about
> oneVillage activity
> in responding to the AIDS challenge in Africa. This
> global catastrophe
> is a global opportunity for completely rethinking how
> we live. One
> Village is pioneering "unity centers" where
> information technology hubs
> are a focal point for integrating health, education,
> cultural, economic,
> governance and ecological concerns.
> I invite our colleagues from Global Ecovillage Network
> to help us make
> contacts so that we might work together. Please join
> us at:
> In particular, our Minciu Sodas laboratory is
> developing new appro aches
> to "peer-to-peer social networking":
> Perhaps we might apply them in working together.
> Andrius Kulikauskas
> Minciu Sodas
> +370 (5) 264 5950
> Vilnius, Lithuania
> Network developments in Africa
> Since 1999 GEN-Europe has invested time and resources
> to support the
> launch of ecovillage networks in Africa, especially in
> French speaking
> West Africa (Senegal and Guinea). GEN believes that
> traditional rural
> villages in the South have the potential to evolve
> into ecovillages for
> the b enefit of local populations and the environment.
> In Senegal the
> first ecovillage network (GEN-Senegal) has been
> officially founded under
> the auspices of the M inistry of the Environment with
> an initial core
> group of twelve traditional villages committed to
> improve living
> conditions adopting ecological solutions. In other
> parts of Africa,
> there are no ecovillage network as such yet, but two
> sustainable settlements in South Africa are worth
> mentioning: Thlolego
> Development Project, 100 kilometres from Johannesburg,
> and Kuthumba
> Nature Reserve.
> Other activities in Africa supported by GEN-Europe
> include two
> permaculture courses that were held with Gaia Trust¥s
> support to train
> local staff in Fahoune (Senegal) and Madina (Guinea),
> in co-operation
> with the local network Colufifa (ComitÈ de Lutte Pour
> la Fin de la
> Faim). Permaculture is a design method that helps us
> to understand the
> connections between different elements in nature and
> society, respecting
> local traditions and cultures. In the African context,
> permaculture can
> be applied to protect nature and improve t raditional
> farming methods, to
> address severe problems such as water scarcity, loss
> of bio-diversity,
> lack of co-operation and disruption of social
> structures, and to
> introduce appropriate technologies and environmental
> The Colufifa network was founded more than 20 years
> ago and comprises
> 350 traditional villages striving to create acceptable
> living conditions
> for their inhabitants through education, training and
> the creation of
> local employment for young people.
> One of the selected Living and Learning Centres is Eco
> Yoff / CRESP on
> the outskirts of Dakar, a local development
> organisation founded in 1993
> to organise the Third Eco-City Conference. CRESP has
> an extensive
> website on their training and research activities in
> the fishing village
> of Yoff at http://www.cresp.sn/gensen
> GEN-Europe also promotes a Twin Villages programme,
> which brings
> together European ecovillages with traditional African
> villages. Last
> year representatives of Torri Superiore, Italy,
> visited Madina in
> Northern Guinea, where they built a solar drier for
> the inhabitants.
> Other European villages have applied to join this
> scheme and they are
> being matched with local partners to start exchanging
> information and
> Lucilla Borio, GEN-Europe, Italy
> contacts: Colufifa aajac-colufifa@...,
> web: http://www.siup.sn/faoune/aajac/aajac.htm
> Gabriele Krauskopf
> *Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) - Europe e.V.
> *Twin offices: ZEGG community /Germany - Findhorn ecovillage/Scotland
> Contact details:* Rosa-Luxemburg str. 89, D-14806 Belzig, Germany
> *Phone:+49 33841 44766 - Fax +49 33841 44768.
> info@... -- http://www.gen-europe.org
> GEN-Europe e.V. is a registered charity association. Donations are
> tax deductible.
> Postbank Berlin, Hallesches Ufer 60; D 10963 Berlin;
> Bank code 10010010, Account no: 768 1105
> IBAN: DE 11 100 100 10 000 768 1105; Swift code:PBNKDEFF