PermaCulture is a professionalizing laboratory that unites refugees, asylum seekers, unaccompanied foreign minors and unemployed young Italian graduates, in a class of 15 people who follow a small theoretical part on the rudiments of work and permaculture and a broader practical part of permaculture in a garden. The general objective is to transmit the tools of a useful profession, and to bring the beneficiaries closer to sustainable planning of the territory.
PermaCulture is a professionalizing laboratory conceived by the Il Nodo Consortium, with the aim of creating transversal skills that can allow beneficiaries to successfully face work placements and be able to get hired. The workshop takes place in classes of 15 people made up of refugees, asylum seekers, unaccompanied foreign minors and young unemployed Italian graduates, to allow different cultures to come into contact and learn together. The laboratory is divided into two parts, one theoretical and one practical. The theoretical part has a duration of 40 hours during which expert technicians provide information on the work: the presentation of the pay slip, the safety devices, the contracts, how to do self-entrepreneurship, to be able to communicate and understand in the field of work.
The practical part takes place in a garden, an old abandoned rose garden that has been transformed and recovered by the beneficiaries through the permaculture technique. In fact, the goal is not only to teach a useful profession that can be carried out in other contexts outside the communities of the consortium, but also to bring the beneficiaries closer to sustainable territorial planning techniques. Thus in a protected environment the beneficiaries can learn the first rudimentary techniques of permaculture, work together, improve and learn transversal skills to be used in new areas. The laboratory becomes a real experimentation phase that goes from literacy to professional training, to which the beneficiaries can access with already learned skills and with a good level of self-efficacy.
How was the Project born?
PermaCulture is a new experience. It comes from the need to remodel the classical training offered by the Sicilian region to refugees and asylum seekers. Often this type of training does not respond to the needs of the beneficiaries because it is too broad in terms of content and the beneficiaries are unable to follow it. In addition, the times of classical training exceed those of reception in the community and the beneficiaries are unable to reach the end of the training course.
Challenges in the implementation
. Find a garden available for permaculture
2. Maintain a high level of concentration and theoretical learning
Impact on refugees or local community lives?
The experience has allowed the beneficiaries to learn the rudiments of a new profession that can be used in various context. Furthermore, the laboratory has made it possible to achieve transversal skills that can positively influence the perceived self-efficacy, and the success of future work experiences and internships.
Is this project/program replicable and/or scalable?
This practice can be easily replicated in different contexts and with times and ways that can be modified according to the needs of the beneficiaries and the needs of the labor market. In fact, it is an experience that has been going on since 2018.