A few weeks ago, Geoff Lawton announced the commencement of the 2014 Online Permaculture Design Certification course. It took me by surprise. There I was, minding my own business, going to my low paid work, watching the free videos he had been releasing on a weekly basis. All the time I kept thinking that one day I “should” start thinking about doing this permaculture thing more seriously. When Geoff announced the course, my empty wallet cried. $997 or £599. With seven grand on credit card due to a seven month break from employment last year, this would have been impossible. As it stands, my current salary is insufficient to cover even the bills, let alone any extras. Heck, if I were to add the cost of travelling to work then the with the bills the total is about 20% higher than what I earn. My wife doesn’t work as she would earn less than the childminder costs and it won’t be until September before our daughter goes to school full time. If not for tax credits and help to pay housing costs from the town council, we’d be truly stuffed.
And in these wonderful circumstances Geoff announced his course. But wait, there’s more. He also said that he would close registrations within a week’s time and that would be it for another year!
In the past this would be it for me, but this time it was different. Not long before I’d finished a round of posts on cooperatives. I had really started to believe that when people work together it is easier for the individual to meet their needs. All you need is love as the Beetles sang.
And this is therefore my tribute to the wonderful eighteen people that came through and allowed me to take the course. Your gift gives me motivation and courage to persevere in this world full of greed. Your actions show that it is possible to live our lives differently. We don’t have to count the £’s or $’s all the bloomin’ time. We can simply embrace our friends.
First off thanks to IndieGoGo for being the platform which enables crowd funding. Now that’s out of the way, here’s to all of you who have contributed:
Luis Raul Blondet – thank you for sharing the link on your FB wall. This caught the attention of…
…Katherine Dunsmore. Thank you for being the first person to lend a helping hand!
Zygmunt Wysocki – a new friend of mine. We only met a few months before, yet every time we talk, it’s as if we had one mind. Thank you! You should take a look at the cooperative venture he is helping to build at Coffee Cranks Coop
Lee Soarez. Most of the contributions that followed were due to your sticky wall post on the 2013 PDC alumni group. Much appreciated! As an aside – Lee is not only a permaculture practitioner, but a language tutor and a singer.
Rasili O’Connor – The first person to respond after Lee’s post! Many thanks!
Marianne Green – not many of us here in the UK, and need to stick together she said. Many thanks! Also a 2013 PDC veteran.
April Chase – you created your IndieGoGo account just to help me out. Thank you!
Miriam Hodkinson – I don’t even know where to start. Miriam is a close friend of mine, an angel in disguise and our daughter’s favourite auntie. Lots of hugs!
Meghan Craig – another 2013 PDC veteran and a new friend. Very active in her local area. Thank you so very much!
Dusty Hicks – you helped me out so that I could be on the course along your side. Just shows what permaculture is all about. Thank you!
Satlova Isabel Heart who studied at the same Technical Institute as I did! The world is very small indeed. Monsanto lost out to nature. Your bioengineering skills will never be used to make franken-seeds 🙂 Thank you!
Holuwaphemmy Phamiloyeh – one of the kindest souls I have met. Seeing all your struggles throughout the years, I have and will always admire your persistence. Many thanks for your help!
Robert Chandler – another fellow student on this year’s course. He also started the 2014 class Facebook group. Many thanks!
Jayson Jones. How can I describe it best. Checked the campaign page before going off to work. It was well into completion, but still quite a chunk was missing. Got to work, checked again – it was done! And guess what, Jayson is on the course with me as well. Thank you very much kind sir. This is really very much appreciated!
Lastly, a full quarter of the sum was given by friends who chose to be anonymous. I know you all and wish to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you!
The night of posting of my campaign I felt sad and hopeless. What happened the following week was truly amazing. I felt loved. Everything that’s wrong with the world seems surmountable in moments like these. It gave me hope and strength to persevere. I feel that everything is possible. With friends.
Thank you all!
The course has finished, I have submitted my design exercise and here is the certificate to prove it!
Thank you all for this gift. The baton is in my hand now, so that I could help others, yourselves included, within my means!
You can see my profile on Permaculture Global