Model Schools are long-term capacity-building programs running over multiple years that build deep agroforestry expertise within the local community. They host regular courses, offer long-term educational programs, act as a knowledge hub for the region and support the transition in the local farming landscape.
Our Model Schools usually build upon our Regenerative Agroforestry plots (Model Farms) and utilize them as hands-on learning spaces. This is a proven concept based on the belief that farmers learn best from other farmers. This way, they help us promote transformation that is deeply integrated at the local level.
Model Schools address a wider range of people, while still maintaining a local sense of ownership. Through them, farmers are not only provided with the knowledge and capacities to perform the agroforestry transformation of their plots, but also able to connect to other farmers who are already doing it.
A typical time frame for a Model School comprises around three years of education and capacity-building. The focus lies on creating a multiplication effect by ‘teaching the teachers’ to ensure maximized outreach, sustainability, and long-term success. This way, knowledge is created, maintained, and spread locally.
At the same time, we apply a participatory approach centering around maximized utilization of local knowledge and traditions. It is imperative to listen to those who already farm the respective land for decades. Further, we strive to ‘speak the farmer’s language’ and bring across our message in a way that participants can relate to it.