Siddharth Village: Spark of Change

EDE Odisha, February 2015

An eco-village in India, at the turn of the local traditions and the new eco-friendly philosophy

Siddharth Village was established in 1986. The center of the community is located 25 km from Bhubaneswar, the capital of the region of Orissa in eastern India. 14 people living there, often surrounded by volunteers who stay for short or long periods .

Over the years, the headquarters were born elsewhere across India. Thanks to the industriousness of its founders, today Siddharth village is connected to a network of 200,000 people living in traditional villages. Ecovillage is to disseminate sustainable agricultural practices such as permaculture, career paths and personal inner transformation and tools for a peaceful social coexistence based on the integration of traditional reference values and ecological innovations. The eco-village holds its economy on ecotourism which allows them to spread their skills free of charge to the villages participating to the network and to support a process that deals with gender issues and women's empowerment .

We asked him to tell Martina Cordelia, one of our reader, his experience: he visited last February / March Siddharth Village during the course Ecovillage Design Education - EDE ( training in the design of eco-villages ) , promoted and supported by the Global Ecovillage Network - January and Gaia Education .

‘Participating all' Ecovillage Design Education, it was nothing short of an unforgettable experience.

John will be unforgettable, the founder of Siddharth Village, trainer of the course. Not only is a very good teacher, John is so many other things, is a rich person's skills and humanity. It leads two companies that are primarily active in training for conflict resolution and sustainability. Supports 54 Samaj (Indian tribal villages) offering the EDE free for participants to bring the principles and apply them in their villages, resulting in greater self-sufficiency. John helps Samaj to get funds from the government, to preserve the indigenous seeds, to reject GMOs; It helps women to unite in organizations and fight for their emancipation. A witness to the goodness with which John brings forward these projects there Karmi, his right arm, a woman from a village in the tribal region of Odisha who took care of us students during the month of EDE. A wonderful person, always smiling, helpful, fighter, determined. He made us feel right at home ... without ever demonstrating a wire fatigue. It 'was, as it were, our "mother" for a month. Karmi has followed several years ago in the EDE Siddharth Village and is now a spokeswoman, or the official representative of the village. The hospitality, care and love with which they welcomed us was unique and it was very interesting to see these people so serene in its own role, in their tasks, as John who led the entire month of course without losing a smile. "

The EDE modules

"The EDE is a course that takes place in four modules, in English : ecology , economy , and social worldview. Touching these aspects that are part of the life of individuals and society, the course provides a wide range of applications of the topics learned and is filled with materials , ideas and tools that have been developed and tested in eco-villages and urban communities in transition . Telling each part of the course would be impossible here but I want to tell you about the moments that I have not only affected by more but also left a mark in my path of growth.

Rama, John's wife, has a huge sensitivity and perhaps that is couselor and works with autistic children. Led module worldview (worldview) the first week. This is perhaps the most " spiritual " and introspective of the course. And here that I realized how important it is to look inward: to understand who I am and where I'm going to allow a better relationship and fluid with the entire community. We did exercises introspective very intense but Rama has always kept in mind the needs of all : those who wanted to go deeper , those who needed a little 'rest and lightness, who needed a serious advice to surpass resistance and blocks. A job that has "moved " many things within us but Rama was good not to unbalance the balance of the group.

The module of ecology concretely consisted in applying the principles of Permaculture for a week. Our teacher was Pradyut, an Indian permaculturalist convinced that this discipline can solve the problems of malnutrition, hunger and poverty ( which, unfortunately, there is no shortage in India ) . Only with him I learned the true usefulness of Permaculture .

While the form of economy we had the opportunity to spend two days in a tribal village Odisha, eating, sleeping and sharing daily life with the locals. Pristine lands, children who have never seen the city and that they will not even go there.

And now I'm back in Italy and I feel that there Siddharth Village many things have happened within me; are changed, I am more aware . The relationship with my family and friends have improved, the things that I want to materialize and I listen a lot more. The course has triggered a positive change in me that is affecting my whole life. What say? Strong emotions. An exceptional team. I miss a lot of the guys Siddharth village and can not wait to return next February "

For more information:
Thread , Siddharthvillage , Khurda , Odisha : [email protected]

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Dream, Design, Co-create