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During the coming years, the Grace Foundation will support projects especially in two key areas: water and training. It is financing the curriculum and the training seminars in the framework of the Global Campus and the pilot model construction of a water retention landscape at the Tamera Peace Research Center in Alentejo. It also funds symposia (specialist conferences) to publicize the goals mentioned above.
1. Global Campus – Peace training in model settlements worldwide
The knowledge about how to live on this planet in social and ecological sustainability is available. It is possible to heal landscapes that have been destroyed, establish settlements and cities that are worth living in and resolve conflicts. The energy and the food that we need can today be produced in abundance, in any region, without any damage to the environment. This future knowledge must reach the places where it is most needed.
Youth revolts in many countries in Europe, North Africa and North and South America are an expression of a "lost generation" that cannot find a place in the system of globalization and is looking for a different perspective. These young people would make every effort to establish local pilot projects for a new earth within a global alliance. They need the knowledge, the experience and the projects where they can learn to do precisely this.
The "Global Campus" is a worldwide training initiative. Its curriculum includes ecological high tech for a decentralized solar energy supply, natural water management and the establishment of edible landscapes, sustainable building methods, cooperation with animals, training in non-violence, peace journalism and networking, community building and research within the areas of love, trust and truth.
The students learn the knowledge in theory and through practical application by helping to establish the emerging model projects. So far this includes: Tamera (Portugal), Mulatos (the peace community San José de Apartadó, Colombia) and the PRV - Peace Research Village Middle East. Further training and model locations are being planned – in Mexico, Europe, North America and India.
Cooperation has been established with the Barefoot College (Tilonia, India), the Holy Land Trust (Bethlehem, Palestine), the Arawa Institute (Israel), the Gesundheit! Institute (Patch Adams, West Virginia, USA), the Favela da Paz (Sao Paulo, Brazil), IPEC (Brazil), the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) and others.
The Tamera Peace Research Center in Portugal is the model and training project that has been developed the furthest, and it is therefore where people can be trained, who later become trainers themselves in their home areas.
The Grace Foundation supports the Global Campus and the establishment of its places of training and model settlements at selected key locations on earth.
The Grace Foundation finances seminars at different training locations of the Global Campus and funds the travel and accommodation costs for participants and teachers via a scholarship fund.
2. Water retention landscapes – Healing of the global water supply through decentralized and natural water management
Water is a core issue for mankind's survival on the planet. Water is information, water is consciousness and water is the foundation for every living being as well as for every healthy economic development. Desertification and forest fires, as well as inundations and floods constitute different symptoms of the same problem: a water supply that has been destroyed worldwide through monocultures, deforestation and overgrazing. The results are erosion, a dramatic loss of arable land, hunger, poverty and the extinction of many species of plants and animals, as confirmed by the 2008 World Agriculture Report.
The centralized methods of modern water management and the globalized agro-industry do not provide any solutions; on the contrary, they make the situation even worse. They bear witness to the tremendous inability of today's human being to deal with living things.
Human beings can again learn to channel water so that abundance, power and wealth become available for everyone. Based on the knowledge of Viktor Schauberger, Sepp Holzer and Bernd Müller, the method of water retention landscapes was developed – a natural, decentralized, healing water management for human beings, animals and the landscape. Water retention landscapes can be created almost everywhere on earth – in deserts, the tropics and temperate latitudes. They can heal landscapes that have been destroyed as well as damage from erosion, and they can reverse desertification and provide the conditions for food production, reforestation and healthy regional economies. Water retention landscapes are the foundation for socially and ecologically sustainable settlements and for regional self-sufficiency in the areas of water, food and in many instances energy.
Experience shows that water retention landscapes can transform the Earth into the paradise that it was meant to be. Those who see this success can sense what an important task it is to make this knowledge available worldwide.
The Grace Foundation will support the method of water retention landscapes until a first fully functioning model has been completed. The foundation organizes water symposia and promotes the training so that the knowledge becomes available everywhere and water landscapes can be constructed in many other regions.
Since 2007, the first complete model of a water retention landscape is being constructed on 134 hectares at the Tamera Peace Research Center. When finished, it will consist of 20 water retention areas, five of which have been realized so far. Already after a few years, great results can be seen and they have impressed scientists, journalists and interested people from all over Portugal and several other countries. The land is green again, new springs are appearing, year-round cultivation has become possible on the shore terraces and wildlife has returned. It is again possible to plant forests. The paradise that this land was meant to be is returning.
The water retention landscape in Tamera is already providing many training opportunities, in which people from all continents have been participating. Aspiring engineers have received thorough training through the practical participation in the construction, and representatives from peace model projects worldwide have acquired basic knowledge within the framework of the Global Campus. Many of them absolved a practical training at the construction sites and in the food biotopes, and seminars with the permaculture expert Sepp Holzer (link: www.krameterhof.at) are held regularly with international participants.
The next water retention landscapes have been envisaged to be built in Israel-Palestiine, South America and Portugal. More and more people, especially in Southern Portugal, are become aware that a series of dentralized water systems could save the entire region from desertification. "1000 lakes for the Alentejo" is a slogan that could stand for the revitalization of this landscape and provide new hope for the Alentejo region.