Community Education Courses, County Roscommon
A community education programme initiated by Roscommon Womens Network (RWN) in 2018 will continue and develop into 2019. Contact Roscommon Womens Network to register your interest for these programmes as they are expected to fill fast!
The Healthy Greener You courses are a response to community requests to learn about environmental matters in plain speak. Through their consultations, RWN identified a need for grass-roots environmental education that links the everyday actions and choices of individuals and families to broader environmental challenges.
By partnering with the community education dept. of the Education Training Board (ETB) RWN accessed funding for a 2.5 hour class per week for 6 consecutive weeks. I was asked to design the programme content and from September -December 2018 I facilitated it with 5 groups around county Roscommon.
Participants were diverse, some representing other community groups such as Tidy Towns, many simply interested and concerned individuals. A great range of perspectives and knowledge that lent itself to rich discussions.
To activate and empower was my over arching aim, so I designed the classes to be hands on, applied and practical, as well as informative and provoking. I wanted to create a space to deeply question the status quo, for participants to understand that simple solutions can go a long way and to experience those solutions first hand, in the classroom and out in nature. At the same time I wanted to openly acknowledge and explore the barriers to such actions.
I divided the 6 weeks into themes representing 6 of the biggest environmental challenges and respective actions/solutions that can be made by individuals’ choices and options.
The course content developed into:
- Shopping – considerations, information, labelling, symbols, sources,
- Food – cooking with local and seasonal produce
- Waste – steps towards Zero waste, recycling, composting.
- Water – simple and healthy D.I.Y. household and personal products compared with available brands.
- Biodiversity – A simple introduction to biodiversity and ecology, plant and tree identification, nature connection, simple botanical drawing, gardening for biodiversity and pollinators.
- Climate change – Understanding the climate, consequences and options.
Since it was Christmas at the end of the last group we crafted some natural seasonal decorations to finish off!
It’s alot to cover in 15 hours per group so classes were lively and fun! As per usual permaculture style the learning went in all directions. Every participant contributed valuable insights and skills and I certainly came away from each class more aware of needs and challenges facing us, as well as the power of community yet to be fully activated – watch this space!
2019 will see some more of the Healthy Greener You courses County Roscommon along with some ‘offshoots’ identified as needs by the participants. More info. coming soon, or contact Roscommon Womens Network for further information.
Please contact me for other enquiries about this programme and to request a course in your own area.