The Social PEAS (Permaculture: Empowering an Active Society) project is derived from the identified need to tackle social exclusion, climate and environmental challenges through the use of permaculture to create resilient and sustainable communities. The project was designed to support, educate and provide training for educators/trainers/workers who work with vulnerable adults to create permaculture gardens. Vulnerable adults include people suffering from mental health issue (both those diagnosed with chronic conditions and those that have been affected through the COVID19 pandemic); homeless people and people with housing deprivations; former drug or alcohol users; people with physical and intellectual disabilities; and elderly people. The concept of permaculture embodies sustainability through working with nature and building resilient communities and its principles can be simplified to three main aspects: people care, planet care and fair share. Working in a group, planning together how to create a garden, seeing plants and food grow, tending to plants, being outdoors as a community – these are all exercises that have an abundant benefit on the participants mental well-being, as well as provide life-skills in the aspects of planning, co-designing, executing a communal plan, and bringing together people from diverse backgrounds. Additionally, these gardens are a gateway for nature learning and nature care, create food resilience and security, provide green havens for pollinators and other species and are alternatives to the linear extractive economies and mindsets that most people are exposed to.
This project is delivered in collaboration with organisations from another 5 countries, Friends of the Earth Malta, Hekate Foundation (Netherlands), Promimpresa SLR (Italy), ICEP s.r.o (Slovakia), Fundación INTRAS (Spain).