The course provides a minimum of 72 hours of direct contact with instructor(s), in addition to group design time, homework assignments, self-study time, hands-on projects, visits to demonstration sites & other learning activities. Click here for more information.
The Permaculture Diploma is not a course, but evidence of professional excellence. It is awarded to individuals who meet certain education requirements, achieve excellence in permaculture practice, demonstrate their commitment to permaculture ethics, & submit adequate evidence of their work to a committee of peers (College of Diplomats) for review & recommendations.
Permaculture Diplomas are offered in the following fields of practice: Education, Design, Site Development, Community Service, Media, Research, Appropriate Technology, Work with Children & Finance. A diploma issued in one field does not imply diploma in other fields.
The Permaculture Diploma signifies that the recipient:
- has achieved professional excellence in his or her practice,
- has demonstrated commitment to permaculture ethics & standards of practice,
- has had his or her work evaluated & acknowledged by peers.
Learn, share, connect.Come & see the appropriate solutions we’re finding in response to the needs of our communities.
We showcase appropriate technologies with a focus on improving quality of life using local materials that can be adapted to the different climates & needs prevalent in Swaziland.
From greywater filtration systems to compost toilets. From natural, cheap pest control to organic fertilisers. From solar to rocket mass heaters, showers & stoves. All our solutions care for the Earth, care for people & close the energy loop to generate fair, sustainable solutions.
We’re always happy to receive feedback so if you’ve come for a tour of Guba or attended one of our training opportunities please do get in touch with us & let us know your thoughts!
connect with people & the earth in exchange for your time & energyPeople choose to volunteer for a variety of reasons. For some it offers the chance to give something back to the community or make a difference to the people around them. For others it provides an opportunity to develop new skills or build on existing experience & knowledge. Regardless of the motivation, what unites them all is that they find it both challenging & rewarding.
We find the benefits of hosting volunteers are multifold. Cross cultural exchange & skills transfer probably rank highest on our benefits list.
Like many in our communities, most members of our team did not finish school or hold jobs before coming to Guba. So skills are usually limited to natural talent & gumption without specific development in areas related to our work. This is why Guba continues to focus on in-house skills development & has shaped the organsiation to promote the natural flare of our team members wherever possible. When reviewing a volunteer application, we will ask for the skills you have in order to match them with particular skills we are looking to strengthen within our organisation.
Travel is also predominantly limited with most of our team having never left Swaziland before starting with Guba. So hosting volunteers at Guba brings different perspectives, experiences, history, culture, religions & ultimately, challenges us to better ourselves by either justifying or refuting certain beliefs/behaviours.
“When you push yourself out of your comfort zone & take the time to really see a different culture, you start to sip at the antidote of life’s poisonous attitudes.”
~ The Life Lessons Travel Teaches You & Why It’s Important To See The World, Huffington Post
Our volunteer programme is a service-oriented program in which participants offer a helping hand for Guba’s ongoing projects onsite & within the communities, alongside members of the local community.
Generally, volunteers’ time is shared between daily activities geared toward maintenance & improvement of the farm centre & community projects. Long term volunteers (six months or more) will have the opportunity to get more involved in the site operations & community life.
Our volunteer programme offers the opportunity to learn & share experiences in all things permaculture through work plans that are tailored to volunteers’ learning objectives as well as Guba’s own needs. For example, you could be supporting our sustainable agriculture, Permaculture design & planning, natural building techniques, participatory education, seed saving, appropriate technologies, & much more.
Projects could include:
- Maintenance and improvement of gardens, nurseries & production systems.
- Appropriate technology projects (e.g. buildings, solar showers, terraces, paths).
- Systematisation & documentation (e.g. inventory & labelling of plant species).
- Seed bank support (e.g. germination tests, seed catalogue, packing of seeds for sale, selection & preparation of seeds).
- Artistic projects.
We are looking for volunteers with:
- Permaculture (preferable depending on tasks)
- Appropriate technologies (e.g. wind, solar, hydroelectric)
- Water & irrigation systems
- Computer maintenance
- Web communications and design
- Writing grant proposals
What do we look for in volunteers?
- A preference for volunteers who are from Swaziland or have lived for at least 6 months in Swaziland. If you have only lived in Swaziland a short time, we hope you have grasped that you will have little understanding of Swazi culture, & that you will need to listen & learn from your Swazi counterparts.
- Minimum 1 month commitment, or an alternative schedule as negotiated with the team.
- Independent, self-motivated, open-minded, inventive & resourceful attitude.
- Commitment to the environment, people & sharing.
- Commitment to listening & learning without judgement.
AccommodationOur accommodation is onsite at the Guba farm, located in beautiful surroundings & easily accessible to the road, only 15 mins walk from the nearest town/shops. The building is safe & secure, made using modern natural building techniques which makes it a very comfortable space; cool in the summer, while retaining heat in the winter.
There are two large bedrooms: currently a shared room with extensive views of our food forest is available for volunteers. There is a shared kitchen/living room with plenty of outdoor space & easy access to our kitchen & herb garden. The house will be shared with other volunteers from time to time.
We are committed to covering all work expenses related to your agreed tasks, including the provision of all materials, computers, & any other materials deemed necessary for the volunteer to undertake their assignment duties.
CostsVolunteers are provided accommodation, tea & snack & lunch during a working day onsite. Volunteers are expected to cover the costs of travel, food & utility needs, including fuel for the showers, candles, & other living necessities.
Application ProcedureGuba has many different areas that volunteers can get involved in. Contact us & write “Volunteering with Guba” in the subject line, with the following information:
- What expertise can you bring to Guba that you think will be useful?
- What areas of Guba are you most interested in (please prioritise)?
- How long have you planned to volunteer with us?
- When do you want to start your voluntary position with us?
- What do you expect to get out of your volunteering placement?
- What is your understanding of permaculture?
- Have you got permaculture experience?
- Have you travelled before? If so, what is the most important advice you would give for a new traveller arriving in a different culture?
- Are you a team player? Please provide an example good teamwork from your experience.