The Circular School Gardens will be jointly implemented by local and international volunteers, the Ethiopian Best Social Entrepreneur of 2019, Food Secured Schools Africa (FSSA) and Netzwerk StadtRaumKultur e.V. at the Mekdela Public Primary School in Addis Ababa in 2020/21. The project consists of three integrated components:
Sustainable Agriculture: Establishment of a school farm and ecological garden using permaculture principles and agroecological techniques;
Sustainable Water Management: Development of a constructed wetland, water storage and solar pump system for greywater treatment, rainwater harvesting and distribution;
Education: Garden-based child education in a living classroom and capacity building of local stakeholders;
The nutrient-rich vegetables will support the public school feeding program in a sustainable way, benefiting 1,400 primary schoolchildren. After the initial investment, the parent- and school-led garden will become self-sustaining, enriching the school meals with fresh vegetables, reducing the costs for the school, and providing a livelihood for the participating parents by generating income through the sale of the surplus. The gardens will be implemented as an agroecological system using permaculture principles which actively regenerates biodiversity and natural resources and are designed to work with locally available crops and materials, making it low cost, eco-friendly, climate-smart, and productive. Furthermore, the place will serve as a demonstration site to integrate circular design in the concept of school feeding and gardening and will be used as a living classroom to educate students in circular thinking, environmental stewardship, and biodiversity conservation.
By developing a constructed wetland to treat the school’s greywater from handwashing, the project targets to close the loops in the current water management setup. Rainwater –abundant during the rainy season– will additionally be collected and distributed with a solar pump to the handwashing and gardens during the dry season. This sustainable approach will decrease dependence on the unreliable municipal water and power system and reduce the costs for supplying the school and gardens with water.
The project team will conduct a wide range of workshops in sustainable agriculture, water management and the importance of biodiversity conservation to empower local capacity builders, primarily school director, teachers, and parents to sustainably manage, sustain, and expand school gardening. Additionally, the project will provide technical and strategic support to local stakeholders to develop a Circular School Gardens
manual including teaching materials, as well as a clear and scalable strategy for the sustainable setup of school feeding programs.www.facebook.com/CircularSchoolGardens