House of joy orphanage - Uganda 2014


In 2014, I was able to participate in building the second of the Seven Ravens 5 permaculture institute projects in Eastern Africa. This project involved a partnership between Seven Ravens Permaculture and the House of Joy (an orphanage that houses 350 children plus staff).

The 10-acre property, formerly a mostly grassy plain that created flooding during the rainy season, was planted with around 1500 trees to produce a large amount of food and fuel. Extended water harvesting fixtures (swales) were created in the garden to facilitate the growth of fruit trees, like grafted mango, avocados, passion fruits, papaya, citrus, oil palm, guava and jack fruits. Now, when the system is full, approximately 140 000 liters of water will be collected and infiltrated in the ground, passively irrigating the trees, bushes, and grasses.


The food production from the newly installed 3/4 acre garden will provide food for all the students of the House of Joy and the estimated 200 annual permaculture students who will come to learn on-site. As well as the garden, we also installed a set of rocket stoves and composting toilets, and built dormitories and showers to accommodate the coming students.

This project reinforced for me the importance of this type of work and gave me the opportunity to apply my permaculture design skills. Working on the garden design was a great way to express my potential in this type of environment, and I had the opportunity to develop my leadership skills in working with people from very different countries and educational backgrounds. Some farmers came with a long history off arming knowledge and practice, but little to no education.


"Ludo had good leadership skills with all involved, his permaculture classmates, the school administration, community members as well as with the teachers and students... Ludo focused on the design and earthworks to develop a very large scale food forest, vegetable gardens, large earthworks (Swales and Banana circles) as well as a large scale tree nursery. This 3/4 acre project has now spread through the rest of the 10 acre plot and is benefiting the 350 students at the school as well as providing large community outreach as a demonstration for the local community... I also highly recommend Ludo as an excellent Permaculture project manager, especially for Africa." Michael Nickels, Seven Ravens