Supporting The Ecovillage movement
Since its founding in 1987, Gaia Trust has supported over 300 projects in more than 40 countries. The single largest area of support has been the ecovillage movement, in particular the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN).
Gaia Trust chose this funding strategy because it felt that the ecovillage concept of building community goes to the very heart of the global crisis. If we are to create a sustainable and harmonious future, we must change the way we live and work – our lifestyle. Ecovillagers are doing this very thing through personal commitment, in spite of having very few resources and no help from their governments. They are providing the examples for all of us to adopt and the networks for us to join when we are ready to make the shift, which we will all have to do sooner or later. Therefore Gaia Trust felt that this was an area where its support could make a difference.
Supporting The Permaculture movement
Another major area of grants was the permaculture movement, which is closely related to the ecovillage movement. Permaculture is a very important design principle in a sustainable world where Humankind lives in harmony with nature. Permaculture design utilizes the naturally available resources on any given site optimally, and is relevant in all kinds of climates.
For these reasons, Gaia Trust has encouraged the proliferation of these principles throughout the world by sponsoring the first permaculture course in several countries in a “Teach the Teachers” program using experienced teachers from different parts of the world. In most of these countries, the teachers who were trained have carried on permaculture teaching locally.
Countries included in the program were: Peru, Belarus, Kenya, Senegal, Turkey, Cambodia, Cameroon, Hungary, Philippines, Ghana, Iceland, and the Bahamas.
For more in-depth information about permaculture, consider a visit to the websites of two of the ecovillages with the most experience with this design technique, including extensive bibliographies – Earthhaven in the USA and Crystal Waters in Australia.
Gaia Trust Grants: 1987 – 2012
Otherwise, the grants cover a wide range of worthy projects representing many facets of the ongoing gradual planetary transformation. It is inspiring to know that there are so many people doing so many really important things to make the world a better place to live.
After over 10 years of support, Gaia Trust had to reduce its support for GEN and other projects drastically in 2003 as its funds were running very low. This was always the plan – to use up its capital while the founders were still active. The hope now is that GEN will be able to carry on with other sources of funding.
Gaia Trust no longer accepts unsolicited grant applications, as its funds remaining are too small to justify a regular grants program. However, Gaia Trust will continue to support a few, smaller projects on its own initiative, particularly in the area of education, and will maintain this website as a source of information. See, for example, the ongoing Gaia Education project, which offers courses in Ecovillage Design at ecovillages across the world.
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*Currency: Danish Kroner. Figures in thousands (multiply by 1000). Figures include administrative costs.