Sabina School and Home, Uganda

Children of Uganda (COU) and Permaculture Across Borders (PAB) are partners in introducing permaculture to Sabina Home and Boarding School in Southern Uganda. Sabina accomodates over 600 children from vulnerable homes in the surrounding community where the population has been particularly hard hit by the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Before the project began, Sabina was importing almost all its food and firewood, buying diesel to run a generator, and burning most of its organic waste. It lacked trees for shade and lost much soil to rain-runoff every wet season, and daily, children swept the bare dusty earth.

The project entails implementing a comprehensive permaculture design for the site of about 110 acres. The design includes water, energy, fuel, plant and animal systems. These systems will be fully integrated into the daily life and education of the children and staff. The project aims are to:

• make Sabina Home a permaculture demonstration and training centre managed by local adults and children,

• exemplify permaculture principles,

• provide the majority of its needs for food, fuel, water and energy,

• supply a diverse and nutritious diet to the children year-round, and grow cash crops to purchase non-food needs.

Loads of impressive work with much help from the children, international volunteers and the local community has been done so far – a large veggie garden (producing a bounty of vegetables including cabbage, pumpkins, squash, amaranth, many different types of eggplant, kale, ceylon spinach and much more!) with composting and food forest areas, has been established to provide the children with fresh organic veggies twice a week.

More than a hundred fruit trees bringing much needed shade and erosion control have been planted and should start producing fruit in two years. To control and conserve water 265 meters of swales with diversion ponds and drains have already been hand-dug. One of the latest projects has been creating a beautiful mandala veggie garden.

Have a look at detailed designs for the site. These give an excellent overview of permaculture design in practice.

Discover more about Sabina and the design process.