UoN Lecturer’s African Food Documentary Launches in Melbourne
A University of Newcastle lecturer is behind a film documenting a permaculture project in Zimbabwe that has changed lives and boosted food security.
Senior Sociology Lecturer, Dr Terry Leahy, will launch his documentary The Chikukwa Project on September 25 at the CERES Centre in Melbourne.
Dr Leahy and his documentary-making sister, Associate Professor Gillian Leahy of the University of Technology Sydney, travelled to Zimbabwe in 2010 and saw how the use of permaculture changed the degraded landscape into a lush paradise that produces food.
"Where once the 7,000 people of the Chikukwa villages suffered hunger, malnutrition and high rates of disease, this community has turned its fortunes around using permaculture farming techniques," Dr Leahy said.
The Chikukwa Project was started over 20 years ago and through the use of permaculture practices has consistently produced food during that time.
"Now they have a surplus of food and the people in these villages are healthy and proud of their achievements."
"Complementing these strategies for food security, they have built their community strength through locally controlled and initiated programs for permaculture training, conflict resolution, women's empowerment, primary education and HIV management," Dr Leahy said.
Dr Leahy will continue his own research into food security when he travels to Zambia, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe in 2014. He will visit villages where successful project designs for food security are operating.
"A lot of money has been spent on projects in Africa which have had no lasting impact and the intention of my research is to find out what actually does work and to promote it. The film on the Chikukwa project is a key part of that work as that project has been remarkably successful over a 20 year period," Dr Leahy said.
Funding for the film was provided by the University of Newcastle, the University of Technology Sydney and the Pozible crowd funding website.
View the 20-minute trailer for The Chikukwa Project.
DVDs of the film will be available for purchase from October. Details will be available on the Chikukwa Project's Facebook page.