Like everyone, COVID offered the time for the Abundant Earth Foundation to stop and look at what we were doing and to ask how we could make a difference in the lives of those suffering so greatly, not only from the threat of the virus but climate change, social unrest, and other difficulties of life. How can we be relevant in these changing times?
This small foundation started after the last International Permaculture Convergence in India in 2017 with the vision of doing grassroots fundraising to be able to offer support, in all forms of capital not just financial, to permaculture and regenerative projects around the world. At first, with COVID, we saw our donations go down, and so looked to be as strategic as possible with what little funding we had to share.
Many requests came in especially from projects we already have had an association within Africa and Latin America. Donations went to small villages for protective face covers and handwashing stations. We’ve also been able to focus on efforts that would have a long term benefit for communities through the establishment of chicken and rabbit raising projects to provide an ongoing source of protein to orphanages and schools. The Canadian-based non-profit and our new partners, ReFarmers, establishes permaculture gardens for women who are raising many orphans and creating an abundance of food that can then be sold at local markets. With the closure of schools due to COVID, the usual food accessibility for youth has been cut off, and food shortages have been a dire issue. These gardens are helping feed many people and locals are hired to establish the gardens. There is a huge waiting list of people wanting help establishing their permaculture gardens, as COVID leads to increasing food shortages. Doctors have also started recommending gardens to improve people’s health, leading to even more requests. A donation of $80 covers hiring a local team to establish the garden and the starts to get it going. Seed saving and market selling lead to a self-sustaining endeavor right away.
Through our partnership with another non-profit, Contor Lines, we have been able to provide emergency food supplies for a remote village in Guatemala whose imports were cut off, as well as the establishment of a tree nursery and purchase of land to continue a growing agroforestry project to train locals to restore degraded cattle land into a thriving food forest. In Afghanistan, a water line was able to be connected to a school so that their school garden could continue after the campus’s well dried up. In Kurdistan, funding was offered to support a small-scale permaculture project that helps feed a very arid village.
All of our efforts look to help people with their emergency needs while also really considering how to take a longer view to make people as self-sustaining and food-sovereign as possible. These projects mentioned were all supported with donations of $50-$500 yet made a big difference in the lives of fellow inhabitants of this beautiful planet. Keeping in mind the 3rd ethic of permaculture, when we share our abundance with others, even donations of $5/month, we can collectively have a big impact in creating a world that works for all.
Learn more at AbundantEarthFoundation.org
Contour Lines working with women in Guatemala to learn agroforestry:
Hand-washing stations and Mask making in Kenya:
Establishing a Grandmother Kitchen garden in Uganda: