Ego Lemos and Lachlan McKenzie – The Timor Leste National Permaculture School Gardens program
Since being introduced in November 1999 permaculture has been steadily spreading throughout Timor-Leste. In 2001 a national Permaculture organisation named Permatil (Permaculture Timor Lorosa’e) was established. It works with many different civil society groups, community leaders, farmer groups, government departments and international agencies through trainings, educational resources, demonstration sites, food sovereignty advocacy, youth programs, seed banks, water restoration projects and multi-year collaborations.
In January 2015, the Timor-Leste Ministry of Education introduced permaculture school gardens into the national curriculum for Basic Education, under the discipline of Arts and Culture. In December 2015, the Department of School Gardens was established, with 1415 schools targeted across Timor-Leste. Starting implementation in mid 2016, in partnership with Permatil, more then 80 permaculture school gardens have been established. Teachers are encouraged to adopt a holistic approach to learning and teaching, students improve their knowledge and skills
growing a variety of seasonal food crops to apply in their home garden, the food grown goes to the school lunches program and beauty and function is added to the school environment.