This year in August we will be holding the seventh edition of the Ecovillage Design Education (EDE) course in Damanhur, certified by Gaia Education.
The EDE is a curriculum that covers four areas of sustainability: social, ecology, economy and world view, offering a wide spectrum of practical applications and innovative tools that have been developed and tested in ecovillages, communities, and transition movements in urban areas around the world.

This month-long course is the kind of experience that can change your life, as it has for the more than 90 people from over 35 different countries who have participated in the EDE course at Damanhur.

Macaco Tamerice, one of the main EDE facilitators in Damanhur speaks about the experience:

“The first years that we held the EDE course in Damanhur, we had the precious contribution of Kosha Anja Joubert, CEO of the Global Ecovillage Network. , and Martin Stengel of Sieben Linden. Their presence was a great learning experience for me and for the other facilitators, and it also strengthened our friendship!

It is always very exciting to facilitate the EDE course, even after so many years. Participants say that it is a completely unique, life-changing experience, and it is for me as well. Seeing how the participants transform themselves during the course of the month, how everyone grows and learns many skills, becoming more aware… this makes it worth all the effort of organizing the course.

Beyond the official program, every year the groups go through different processes and dynamics that are typical of such an experience. Conflicts arise and are resolved, and the dynamics create a very strong sense of community among the participants.

I learned that we really do not need to be afraid of conflict. Very often conflicts allow us to go beyond the limitations of each individual and consequently, of the whole group.

The group becomes like a kind of being in and of itself who lives and is nurtured by the individuals. This is why the whole group is so strongly influenced by the relationships that are created among the people.

There are times when the participants fall deeply in love with each other, metaphorically speaking. This atmosphere is typical at the beginning of a community, when you see the richness and the absolute beauty within each person. This allows the energy to flow, creating a field of universal love that helps us to process the entire, somewhat intense program with great ease.

I have been so deeply touched while discovering how incredibly beautiful everybody is when we lower our defences and can have a glimpse into the soul.

During the EDE, besides being enriched by the vast and exciting program, we always learn from one another. Often there were facilitators with considerable professional skills among the participants. Sometimes there were people who were already living in community for many years. I learned so much from them, for example, simple tools like mirroring.

Sometimes someone will ask me which EDE group I liked the most, but there is no answer. The beauty lies in the diversity of every group. Each one has touched different aspects of life for the participants and for me as well. I am really grateful for this experience. I have learned so much and feel deeply transformed by it.

I am looking forward to expanding the space of the heart and mind, creating even more community connections and learning from each other and from the wisdom of nature during the EDE 2017 course. You are more than welcome to join us here in Damanhur!

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