An all round unique volunteering opportunity in the heart of Bulgaria

June 1st –   November 30th, 2021

Would you like to take part in a community building project with a focus on growing food while enhancing biodiversity?

The European Solidarity Corps (ESC) is the new European Union initiative that offers opportunities for young people to volunteer in projects that benefit communities and people around Europe. Green School Village (GSV) is excited to be offering people the opportunity to volunteer at the Balkan Ecology Project (BalkEP) under this initiative. This 6 month project is open to enthusiastic young people aged between 18 – 30 who are interested in developing food growing systems that enhance biodiversity, and want to take an active part in community building.

What will you be doing?

  • Learning from hands on experience how to plan, sow, plant, maintain and harvest produce from a vegetable garden. Experience different methods of processing the harvest using local methods and building simple dehydrators
  • Learning how to identify local herbs and their medicinal uses and experiment with making some homemade herbal remedies
  • Helping to support the local community by designing and creating a community garden and maintaining valuable infrastructure such as a shared garden irrigation system and local mountain trails. Engaging with the youth to help create a social sports club
  • Keeping a creative journal and blogging about your progress, tracking your experiences to share
  • Immersing yourself into local culture. Activities take place Monday – Friday for 6 hours a day, leaving plenty of free time. Included in the experience is Bulgarian language lessons

  Why should you take part?

  • You will gain valuable insight into what it takes to actually run food producing systems and how you can enhance biodiversity within them
  • This opportunity will give you hands-on experience and transferable skills that encourage entrepreneurship or enhance your employability
  • The ESC initiative covers your food, accommodation, travelling, language lessons, pocket money, mentorship and insurance costs
  • If you live in a rural area/outskirts of a city or you are unemployed/on low wage, you will get a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course from GSV throughout the whole ESC project

Interested? Then we look forward to hearing from you!

Please register here!

For more information (PDF)

Misha at esc [at] greenschoolvillage [dot] org or Sophie at balkanecologyproject [at] gmail [dot] com

Deadline for applications 30/04/21

The Diploma Process (Nordic)

In this video, we explore how one can develop their Permaculture Design skills by working towards a diploma for Applied Permaculture Design. Featured is Catrine Dolleris, who is a Diploma Tutor in the UK and Nordic Systems as well as the LAND coordinator for the Nordic countries, and is also showing parts of her diploma and her LAND centre in Denmark.

You can learn more about the process and how to register for diploma for Applied Permaculture Design in the Nordic countries on these websites:……

If you want to get acquainted with the diploma and the LAND centre of Cathrine Dolleris, please check the following links:……

To learn more about starting a diploma for Applied Permaculture Design in the Balkan region, follow the webiste of the Permaculture Association of Bulgaria (currently under construction):

The movie is created as part of Green School Village’s project “Capacity Building of Permaculture in Bulgaria” and is co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union. Producer: Mihaela Tsarchinska Narrator: Mihail Kossev Interviewer: Mihaela Tsarchinska Camera: Philip Varionov Editing: Mihail Kossev Script: Mihail Kossev and Mihaela Tsarchinska Subtitles: Mihail Kossev Music:, и други * We do not own the music, it is royalty-free for non-commercial use * Special thanks to Bogdan Boev and his invaluable advises regarding photo and video equipment! Twitter @Bogdan_Boev….

Tunaweza Permaculture Project


Supported by Permakultur Danmark

By Steven Odhiambo Otieno

My journey started when on 3rd December 2020 , I was so happy and eager to see what is waiting for me on the other side of the family Indian ocean. It was nice to reach in Nairobi and evening the right traffic jam,  I had hopes that things would go well for me at the end of the day. I arrived in Nairobi so fine,  took  a taxi to the airport to confirm my flight status and any other things I could have forgotten just to get ready for the next days journey, and after I had to get myself some food for the night and a hotel room which I settled at around 9.00 pm .
My next morning which was 4th December became a little bit hectic, I had to wake up at 5:00 Am to make sure I get ready and beat up Mombasa road traffic jam  to the airport . Of course my flight was at 8:99 AM but I still needed some little rush due to unpredictable Nairobi roads. Luckily by 8:30 Am I was at the Airport, passed through the security check and headed to the immigration. In the process through the immigration I learned that my flight was cancelled and forwarded to 7.30 PM so I had to wait till 6.00 pm to finish the immigration process. Oh Noo,  that was a hard task and what made me feel bad is that I was never informed that they cancelled the flight…no text no call. No one seemed responsible for anything so I had to go to Kenya Airways reservation office within the airport of which they agreed to put me on rescission flight to Daresalaam  via Zanzibar. The flight was  scheduled to jet off JKIA at 8:30 PM  which eventually flew off 9.30 pm. So I had to wait for more than 13 hours .
The delay of course interrupted my plans so I had to arrive in Zanzibar very late at night and by time I could find a guest house it was 12:00 AM.


New Online Learning Platform

An exciting new online learning platform launched by the Permaculture Association in October has been a great success. Featuring a range of courses, including a six-module Foundations of Permaculture course, several short courses, and teacher led versions of these, there is something for everyone. The platform enables people to start learning instantly- in their own time and from their own homes. The response has been outstanding with hundreds of learners from around the world signing up to learn permaculture, with the courses and platform receiving excellent reviews. For a free sample lesson, and to browse all the courses currently on offer, visit

Some free places are available for black, Asian or minority ethnic people on upcoming teacher-led online courses. For full info:

PDC Portugal

The New Discoveries Project and Quinta Vale da Lama open registration for:

Modular Permaculture Design Course 

REGISTRATIONS HEREINSCRIÇÕES AQUI(Help us to share this information)

(Course in english com tradução para Português)

Join us for an in-depth Permaculture Design Course, structured over weekends from 28th November to 21st February, 2020. Or, join us for just one or two weekends to deepen your knowledge of specific topics.


–      Non-formal  2-day education experience facilitated by our local teaching team

–      Access to our Permaculture Library and Digital Resources

–      Opportunity to participate in weekly practical activities, including gardening, orchard care, bioconstruction, and more…


–      6 weekend modules covering the 72 hour Permaculture Design Course Curriculum facilitated by our local teaching team

–      Weekly Practical Experiences at Vale da Lama Farm or Projecto Novas Descobertas space in the farm

–      Individual Mentoring Calls with Course Tutors between each module to support you in applying new knowledge at home

–      Reading / Video assigned between modules to deepen learning (Optional)

–      In-depth, 80-day design process: allowing a more realistic and in-depth experience of how Permaculture design happens

–      Membership in Projecto Novas Descobertas Association (Discounted access to our advanced courses, such as Teacher Training…)

6 modules on weekends November 28th- February 21st (Maximum of 20 students):

November 28-29 – Introduction to Permaculture Design: Tools for Creating Sustainable Systems Using Nature’s Design Toolkit

December 12-13 – Healthy Water & Soils: Managing Essential Resources for Personal & Global Health & Abundance

January 9-10 – Garden, Farm, & Forest: Meeting Our Needs with Diverse Living Systems

January 23-24 – Systems for Human Settlements: Designing Resilient Systems for Energy, Economy, Technology and Construction

February 13-14 – Design Studio Weekend: Within a learning community approach, improve designs with peer & mentor feedback.

February 21st – Design Presentations & PDC Certificates Ceremony

*Individual Mentoring between sessions (30 minutes per student between modules)

Prices or other INFO go to THIS PAGE


Atenciosamente,Projecto Novas Descobertas

IPSS e Associação Social, Educativa e Recreativa 
Morada: Caixa Postal 322-N – Vale da Lama  8600-258, Odiáxere, LagosTelefone Escritório: (+351) 282 697 862| Telefone Campo de Férias: (+351)282792673Telemóvel: (+351) 967 620 397|(+351) 968 663 179

The 72 hour PDC

Different Places, same topic, different voices …

The 72 – hour – Permaculture Design Course (PDC) over 3 extended weekends from July to August this year was organized by Soned e. V. (Southern Networks for Environment and Development), an organization based in Berlin, which focuses on promoting permaculture and networking between initiatives applying permaculture all around the world.

Each of the three courses took place at a different location (two in Berlin, the third in Werder/Havel) and was taught by a different teacher. We were a diverse and interesting group of 15 people, who fit together very well. While, in the first days, we got a theoretic overview about approaches to permaculture, the second and third part went deeper into the principles and concentrated on examples.

In the first course, we had the opportunity to get to know the community garden »Frieda Süd« at the Friedrichstraße. This environment was very helpful to get a first understanding of the wide social, ecological, economical and interdisciplinary context of permaculture. 

The community garden is run by people from the neighbourhood, for the neighbourhood. Staying on the site from morning to evening, we could observe first hand, how well it was functioning. Many diverse groups of people use this space.  Elderly people and tourists in the morning, around midday mothers with children and people who volunteer to support migrants by helping with their paperwork, later, fathers meeting for their after – work beer and in between neighbours showing up to take care of their vegetable gardens. There was even a group with instruments for a jam session in the evening. All this happened, while we where sharing this vibrant space in a silent corner of Frieda Süd listening to Rike Oemisch, an experienced PC Designer, who introduced us into the topic. We learned that the term permaculture consists of the words permanent and agriculture and refers to the sincere approach to give the most valuable ingredients we can contribute: permanent time, dedication, ideas, social interaction, attention and endurance to a special field of interest, a piece of land or a group of people, animals, or plants, in order to create self-sustaining eco systems.

There are certain design principles and methods to reach this goal. The circumstances can be as wide as the range of colours of the rainbow and the solutions are not predictable beforehand. However, following the principles, totally new approaches to face individual problems and discover unusual solutions are possible. It became very clear to us that we should make use of this knowledge right now. Overconsumption, exploitation of animals, nature and soil, deforestation and unsustainable systems of food growth are important topics and can be addressed with the help of permaculture. The permaculture flower represents   by its design its principles and ethics. We finished the days baking pizza in a clay oven and experimenting with planned and unplanned recipes.

The second course focussed on the social aspects of permaculture. The chosen environment was again very much in line with the content of the course. It took place at “Kreutziger 19” a former squatted building with a beautiful backyard. The cooperative consisting of six houses provides an affordable and agreeable living space and also hosts the Soned e. V. office. The experienced permaculture designer Sonita Mbah from Cameroon introduced us further into the social aspect of the subject.

Most of us were surprised by the fairly broad questions about how to organize society on the base of equality, freedom and peace. This was not only a philosophical exercise, but also we where thrown into practice, by doing several organizational processes within the group. We learned to use the method »dragon dreaming«, a planning tool for groups.  We dreamt about the upcoming »Weltfest«, which is organized by Soned e. V. every two years on a public square in the district and in our imagination, it became a new and colourful reality. We learned to see ourselves as dreamers, planners, doers or celebrators representing the different stages of a design process. At first, everybody was joking about celebrating as the last stage of the process, but reflecting on it, we found that in our society we are not much used to celebrate our completed tasks and projects. Very special to us was the evening talk of Rose Mutua, presenting a permaculture project in Kenya, which showed that there is more to permaculture than gardening and that permaculture is already being practiced around the world. Talking about the different realities, made it clear that we can and need to learn from each other. The solidarity cocktails after the presentation were great and showed little side effects the next morning.

For the 3d course, we met outside of Berlin at “Dicke Eiche” in the Werder / Havel Area, a beautiful house in the countryside and close to a lake. Again this was an example of a house and wide green space organised and run by a community of people, practicing alternative ways of living in tune with nature. It felt very familiar to meet the others in beautiful and interesting new surroundings again. The group vibe, developed over the last courses, was strong and laughing was as important as providing time and space to every individual.

Robert Strauch the teacher of this last course introduced us still deeper into the topic by looking into specific possibilities permaculture offers. For example, we were taught how to read topographic maps in order to analyse a certain piece of land and be able to zone it for living, growing and saving water. Or we learned about detailed life cycles of forests and their methods of air and water processing.  We also learned how farmers could answer the rise of temperature, by farming differently and using the right trees in order to protect their land from dryness. Robert´s class gave us a more hopeful view into the future we are facing regarding the impact of climate change as he offered many ideas on how to react to it. As this was also the last part of our course, it made sense that we used part of it to work on planning exciting sites, to put our newly acquired knowledge into practise. We formed groups and each one worked on a different site. The result of the group proposals was presented on the last day. This experience was challenging because of the diversity of opinions in the group and additionally, the limited time put pressure on us. However, reflecting on our outcome afterwards, we all agreed that it is an integral element of planning to discuss and exchange different opinions. Methods like the “talking stick”, “dragon dreaming” and many more are tools that can truly help us out here. We are strong in groups but we also have a huge need to have our individual ideas to be heard and respected. So, in order to form “one common shared goal” we have to open up to the process and rethink and evaluate it all the time. Like nature, processes are not static and we have to respect this constant change in order to be able to work with instead of against it. 

Text by: Sherin Abu Chouka, Rose Mutua, Lena Hirche