The Children in Permaculture- CiP project team participated in the European Permaculture Convergence in Bolsena, Italy from September 7th to 11th 2016.
Within the inspiring and extensive program of the EuPC, the CiP team took care of the children’s area, a safe space where every morning the youngest EuPC’s guests could spend their time having fun while practicing the permaculture principles.
Children in Permaculture is a 3 year project funded by the European Union’s program Erasmus+. CiP is developing educational resources to engage children from 3 to 12 years of age in permaculture.
The children’s area at the EuPC in Bolsena took place in a beautiful park in front of the lake surrounded by abundant trees and flowers. The volunteers of the EuPC put up a very welcoming circus tent which created the safe and fun space for running the activities. The team proposed a combination of active games in which children got to move freely within the big park, and creative workshops in which they were invited to explore the area and collect natural materials to create masks, totem animals, musical instruments and other amazing crafts. The music was another important element of tribe building, uniting Italian and international kids who now know “Volevo un gatto nero”, one of the most popular kids’ song in Italy as well as improvisations imitating insects and animals.
The CiP area at the EuPC was also the occasion for adults to share their knowledge, games, teaching tecniques and expertise with each other. Many professionals and adults from different countries came to propose their activities, songs and stories, enriching and making special this time devoted to fun, learning and playing.
The peak of the success of the project was when little Amalia said “I can’t wait for tomorrow morning, to come back here and do permaculture!”, and again when Gabriel said “I really feel like being at home here”. Of course the main insights and teachings came from the kids, like when Luis answered to a question in a song which asked “What’s on the leaf?”. Luis replied “There’s a pattern”!
Many children who came to the CiP area were from Bolsena village itself, representing the positive links between the convergence and the local community.
In addition to children’s activities, the CiP team delivered a highly successful, in
eractive presentation about engaging children in permaculture. Around 40 people learnt about the work we have done, and are working on, and then split into groups. One group discussed the session plans and what would make them useful to them. Another group was very excited about the idea of taking the next step in the project – developing a youth in permaculture project, most likely through applying to Erasmus. Do get in touch if you are interested in getting involved in this.
If you want to know more about CiP and get in touch with the team, visit www.childreninpermaculture.com