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A NextGEN Project
(This article was originally submitted to the GEN Newsletter)
It has been an exciting year for NextGEN, the youth movement within GEN. Inspired youth from around the global have been busy connecting young people with the ecovillage movement and empowering them to build the world of the next generation. One of our latest initiatives toward creating this world is focused on constructing a locally owned ecovillage and education center in Togo, West Africa. NextGEN International Representative, Nick Joyce, is the young person organizing the project. “Through engaging visitors and residents in cross-cultural creativity and collaboration,” Nick says, “the ecovillage in Togo will become a thriving model for sustainable community development throughout the Global South.” As a continent marked by the wounds of colonialism and misguided development aid, Africa, as well as the rest of the world, stands to benefit from this powerful model for change and a better future.
Nick’s project is called InTerraTree. The name was derived from the French word “inter-etre,” or interbeing, signifying the interconnectedness of all phenomena that InTerraTree seeks to help individuals better understand. Nick describes how the project was originally inspired by the model of his Togolese partner organization, Centre Des Hommes, the group that will operate the completed center in order to ensure that needs of the local community are the priority.
InTerraTree will consist of two main components:
1. An ecovillage, where the members of Centre Des Hommes can live together in a consciously designed community, continuing to maintain local cultural identity while integrating innovative technologies to make their lives more sustainable, as well as teaching and sharing their practices with the larger local community.
2. An ecolodge, where visitors stay in a culturally immersive environment and are able to experience and learn from the vibrancy of local culture while lending a helping hand and sharing their own knowledge and stories.
Nick Joyce has launched an online crowd-funding campaign to raise money to buy the first hectare of land for the project, as well as to plant a garden and set up Internet and phone access for the site. He hopes to raise $10,000 by the end of January 2014. You can support this important NextGEN project by visiting: valhallamovement.com/InTerraTree. Depending on the size of your contribution you will receive rewards ranging from hand-made traditional African crafts to an ecovillage retreat vacation and personal drum lessons. With a donation of $1,000 you will secure a spot on an educational ecotourism trip to the site in Togo, West Africa. The focus of the July trip will be on cultural immersion, sustainability education, and implementing on-the-ground solutions at InTerraTree.
- Is something inspiring happening in your community?