Some of you may remember our call-out for donation support for Victor Monroy (see paragraphs below the video here), an organic agricultural engineer who is director of a large orphanage in Rwanda. Well, a couple of you kindly donated to help get Victor along to a PDC taught by PRI PDC Teacher, Warren Brush, in neighbouring Kenya. I need to mention that another NGO, who Victor is writing to below, subsequently offered to cover the whole amount for Victor, which meant Victor received a little more than he needed! (And PRI Kenya received the full course fee rather than the half-rate they generously offered.) Victor’s message below is therefore just as much for those of you who donated on this site. Given partial duplication of support for Victor with this, we (the PRI) have made the executive decision to request that Victor keeps the $275 excess as extra support for the orphanage he directs and to help him implement some of the extra knowledge he gained with his PDC participation. I trust that this is as our site donors would have it. Thanks to you once more.
Watch the video below to get an idea of Victor’s work, and you can read Victor’s letter of thanks below that.
Kigarama, Rwanda , February 6th 2012
Fondation Adelman pour l’Education
c/o Maître Bruno de Weck
Boulevard de Pérolles 12
Dear Friends from Fondation Adelman pour l’Education,
It is a pleasure and privilege to get in touch with you. I want to express my deep gratitude and admiration towards you for supporting me with all the expenses (1025 USD) for attending the Permaculture Design Course in Kenya.
My name is Victor Monroy, born in Guatemala; Agricultural Engineer specializing in Organic Farming. I had the privilege to teach organic agriculture for seven years at the organic farm, Haere Gard, in Norway. Since July 2005 I have lived in Rwanda and am the director of the Children’s Village Kigarama, home for 128 orphans.
We live far away from everything in the middle of nowhere up in the hills of Rwanda. One of the thousand hills belongs to us (10 Ha) and on that property we are aiming to achieve what, as far as we know, no orphanage/NGO worldwide has ever done — to reach self-sufficiency and complete economic independency.
We are running all our agricultural operations with organic farming principles. But organic farming has some limitations. Therefore it was extremely important for me to attend the Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course in Kenya.
The PDC was run on the campus of Nyumbani Village, a children’s village with 1000 orphans (three hours away from Nairobi, Kenya). It was organized by the Permaculture Research Institute (PRI) Kenya in a fourteen day format covering 72 hours of teaching. We had the privilege of having Warren Brush from Quail Springs as our international teacher. There were over fifty students from around the world and each one of us with a unique background.
The main subjects covered were permaculture farming/techniques, food forestry, agro forestry, working with different soils and climates, water harvesting techniques, ecological sanitation, composting methods, biodiversity, appropriate technologies and methods of permaculture design. The PDC also provided us very practical sessions like building high efficient firewood stoves (rocket stoves), making compost piles and creating a complete permaculture design for a specific plot in Nyumbani Village.
As an agriculture engineer I already was familiar with many of the topics but others were indeed new to me. Now that I have attended the Permaculture Design Course and received new/precious agricultural knowledge, I know exactly what and how to improve our agricultural operations at the Children’s Village Kigarama. All those changes will improve the quality of life for our 128 orphans and will enable us to reach real self-sufficiency and real economic independency.
Specifically the Children’s Village Kigarama will improve the following agricultural aspects as quickly as possible and as soon as financial means are available:
- Composting techniques (better use of organic materials for compost)
- Soil building techniques (incorporation of earthworms in our soil operations)
- Water sanitation (treatment of grey water through banana circles)
- Environmental protection (planting more native trees on the top of our hills)
I want to thank once again the Fondation Adelman pour l’Education for financially supporting my attendance at the PDC in Kenya. Now I understand and appreciate much better the real potential of the Permaculture Principles and Techniques. It was also precious to me to get in touch with so many people from all around the world. I was able to make new contacts and some of them will come to the Children’s Village Kigarama to install wind turbines for more energy production and others will come to improve our cooking activities through the installation of biogas digestors.
The knowledge and experiences gained through the Permaculture Design Course will benefit directly our 128 orphans and our entire neighboring community. The children of Rwanda have already suffered more than enough and they deserve a much better life. Thanks for helping us achieving those goals.
Victor Monroy, Director
L’Esperance Children’s Aid Rwanda
Children’s Village Kigarama
P.O.Box 5026 Kigali, Rwanda