Pamela's blog

March FT- Kitchen Gardens and Jatropha

The First Thursday chat on March 4th at 12.00 GMT/UTC will focus on two of our permaculture interests - kitchen gardens and jatropha. The plan is that Marcus Simmons will join the chat as our permaculture adviser. One or more people from the Dadamac team in Nigeria will also chat. They will discuss what has been happening since Marcus's visit a few months ago. It is still very early days, so the discussion will be about first practical steps that have been taken (or are being planned) by the permaculture early adopters, and what else they need to know.

Down to earth

It will be very down to earth. How are the jatropha seedlings getting on? They are being carefully tended during the intense heat of the end of the dry season, waiting for the rains to come to give good conditions for planting out - but are they surviving okay? What of the kitchen garden ideas? What is the feedback on the keyhole gardening? Has anyone done any follow up on setting up a personal kitchen garden? What problems are people facing? What information is it useful to exchange?

Fola's phone and baby boy

It's almost exactly ten years since I was first involved in communication between UK and Nigeria. In those days my friend, the late Peter Adetunji Oyawale, could only phone one person in his entire Oke-Ogun Community Development network. If we made a phone call it was to the landline of Chief Adetola, in the state capital Ibadan. What a contrast now. Today, from rural Ago-Are i got this text: "Mornin ma, my wiv gave birth 2 a bouncin baby boy yesterday afternoon, thanks Fola." 

Not only did Fola send his information to me, via SMS he also went online through is phone and shared his news publicly through a couple of yahoo groups saying "Hi all, God gave my family a healthy,handsome,bouncing baby boy yesterday afternoon and I really wish to say this is God' revelation and manifestation in my new family. Thanks be to Him alone." The two groups be wrote to were LearningFromEachOther (one of the Minciu Sodas groups) and FantsuamSLD - self-directed learners (a group set up to demonstrate yahoo groups to participants on the SDL course in Fantsuam in 2008).

Universal Learning Centre

I have no personal experience of the Universal Learning Centre but I came across it today because I moderate comments at  and someone posted this one:

Haiti, a legitimate cause

Hey, I'm seeking help for the kids of Haiti. I'm doing my part for a non-profit organization in which the main focus is to creating oppurtunities for the children in haiti. If anybody wants to give money then this is the site: Donate to Haiti or Help Haiti They give children in Haiti books and teach them. Yes, they're a real cause. Please help us

I confess my first responses were

  • That it was probably a scam
  • That people who were donating would already be donating through the channels they know and trust
  • That Haiti and disaster relief aren't much related to what Dadamac is focussed on

However, when I when to the site I found that it wasn't disaster relief, but part of an ongoing educational programme. The site says:


Hi Vijay

Sorry you could not make it to February First Thursday, but I know you are very busy at present. You would have met some interesting people including members of the Dadamac team in Nigeria. It would have been interesting to compare some of the eco-developments there, such as growing Jatrohpa, with what is happening in India

I mention Jatropha because at our UK-Nigeria meeting yesterday we were told that "we are raising a nursery of 2000 jathropha palnts we intend to transplant when the rains begin"

ArcSpace Manchester

This is a copy of an email sent to Victoria Sinclair (Project Manager Generate Project and director ArcSpace Manchester):

Hi Vicky

I am writing to you ref Ref ArcSpace Manchester, the email you sent to PRADSA, and the information below which I read on your website:

We cultivate a holistic, environmentally sound entrepreneurial zone, seeding inspiration and cohesion, nurturing creativity through workshops and peer to peer learning. People are empowered through intercultural and creative skills-based exchanges - from visual to musical to written word and everything in between using inclusive technologies, academic and international partnerships.

February First Thursday Feedback

Keyhole Garden at Ungwar MasaraToday's First Thursday meeting was a mixture of networking and discussing permaculture. It brought together people from Minciu Sodas, from the Video Bridge workshop and from the Dadamac Community in the UK and Nigeria.

Topics mentioned included the possibility of practicing permaculture on a very small scale, the impact of permaculture, and if it was difficult to practice.

First Thursday - sustainable villages, the workshop, etc

Thursday February 4th is the First Thursday of the month.  So here's my invitation to join me in the worknets chat room, and my usual thanks to Andrius Kulikauskas, director of Minciu Sodas for making it possible. All being well I will be around for an hour starting - 13.00 Nigerian time, 15,00 Kenyan time, 12.00 GMT.

Back from Streaming Sharing and Learning

I am back from the Video Bridge  Streaming Sharing and Learning workshop in Vienna. Over the next few days I will be reflecting on what went on, looking for patterns, and seeing how things might continue in ways that are relevant (both to the Dadamac community and to me as a learner). This may result in a flurry of blogs - if it does please forgive me.

At the workshop Franz did a great job of enabling the participants to become a community. The participants all represented communities of some kind.

Franz ran a video bridge session, linking us with a group in Graz. He used TV quaility technology which gave us an idea of how distance link-ups may move on from our usual Skyping etc.

Jakub made a good point that when we went back - back to our communities, and back to presently avaliable technology - our next step would be to make a community of communities.


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