Our principles are based on caring for the Earth and humanity, and for participating in and practicing fair trade and Ubuntu. (“Ubuntu” is an African expression of ancient wisdom, which is echoed by all ancient civilisations. It simply means “unity within community” where everyone contributes their natural talents or acquired skills for the greater benefit of all).

The greatest vision for our organisation is to create holistically thriving, sustainable community in rural Mpumalanga with educational and healing centre, food forest and living working organic farm site. The founder of the organisation Lucky Kekana has been involved in community work for past 24 years. At the age of 19 he worked for Miles and Associates International, empowering the    youth and communities in South Africa through sports and life skills (HIV awareness, parental planning etc.). He helped to develop and pioneered the Khula Dhama Eco Village in Eastern Cape, South Africa. He previously worked as ambassador and coordinator for GEN Africa, organised and facilitated EDE courses throughout South Africa, studied permaculture with Bill Mollison and Jeof Lowton and co-created educational centre Mama Na Bana in Congo, where he built structures for and taught permaculture principles to Butwa Pygmies. He resides in the Sahhulube Village with his family since 2015, where he has built his home and small farm. In 2018 he joined force with neighbouring small scale farmers Dokodela Nkabinde, Bhudi Mkhonto and Meicie Msibi and Sahhulube Eco Village organization was formed. In 2019 the team acquired 10 hectares of the land from the local Tribal Authorities for this project.

As we have come to learn, the best way to educate is by being a living example. By providing the space for learning and practicing the ethics and methods provided by permaculture at our site; we intend to be the example that will allow our own and other local communities as well as international visitors too, to be sensitized towards the importance of organic food sovereignty. This sensitization and support for socio eco entrepreneurship will not only support us but serve to also enhance other mindsets to appreciate the abundance rural settings offer and to increase rural economical stability and employment overall and throughout all the communities who will participate by following our example.


The expected outcome of the overall project is to bring hope and livelihood back to the people of Sahhulube Village.

With the community needs in mind, the most critical and important    step will be to build the community dam in the village and provide the community members with water.

An other important aim is to teach and support food sovereignty and economical viability. It is our duty to live sustainably and as an inspiration and example to our climate change threatened world consumed by war, poverty and hunger. We especially aim to empower small scale farmers and youth within our community. Our site will serve as economic empowerment hub. We aim to provide the community farmers and youth with permaculture design courses, eco-village design education, natural building courses, youth camps and international exchange programs, vision quest/self-inquiries, spiritual retreats and healing ceremonies, courses on healthy lifestyle and nutrition, eco tourism and other relevant trainings.

At the first stage of the development, we intend to invite volunteers (both local and international) who both want to learn and have something to teach in the developing stages, to come help us with the ground work on the land, the clearing and preparing of the permaculture site, the planting of trees, setting up the water system; raising fences, green houses and anything which will involve extra physical labor. This project is based on team work and the success of its forest garden also depends on all of us. And that begins with each and every one of us and you!

So you are invited, welcome and greatly appreciated and needed. If you feel called to come and join us, and see South Africa while being a part of a great project and life experience, please contact us for more information and tell us more about yourself at: sahhulubeecovillage@gmail.com    or Mr_kekana@yahoo.com We look forward to hearing from you and we greatly appreciate and thank you for your interest!

Economic impact:

Our site will be the only one of its kind here in our community to:

•  Serve as an economic empowerment hub and network

•    Be an inspiring and supportive example by running an ethical business

• Empowering small scale farmers and youth

• Ensuring food sovereignty

Environmental impact:

• Reforestation

• Regeneration of the soil

 • Low carbon footprint

 • Preservation and restoration of natural ecosystems                                                         

Social Impact:

Co-creating and building community’s self sustainability

Education and encouragement of right choices   

• Impacting future generations

• Healing                       

Overall Aim:    development of sustainable Eco Village with educational and healing centre specifically focused on food sovereignty and the economic empowerment of small scale farmers and rural youth

We will especially empower the local community of small scale farmers by building a dam and water infrastructure system to supply the farmers with water, provide them with organic seeds and efficient sustainable permaculture trainings and assist them with distribution of their produce.

The whole community will greatly benefit by planned short, medium and long term development in the Sahhulube Village. In the first year of the project our team will build community meeting hall. Community members will learn how to build from natural materials by participating in building the community hall and they will    be encouraged to also participate in creating park like setting around the meeting hall by building benches, kids gym and planting different fruit and nut trees. The small designed area around the river will be opened, cleared and maintained to serve as recreational area.     

The local Co-op/market place area will be developed in the close proximity to the community hall and will help to rebuild local and regional economy, people from the nearby villages will have access to fresh and healthy produce and the kitchen within the Co-op will create more employment for the locals offering fresh made meals to passing tourists and locals. This space will act as a platform to allow neighbouring farmers to become vital part of living working community, creating new culture which will ultimately bring more joy, motivation and abundance to the people.   

3 stages of development

1st stage – short term objectives (1st and 2nd year goal)

– repair and extension of the dirt road leading to the educational and healing centre

– building educational centre (hall, which will serve as a main space for meetings, conferences, educational programs as permaculture courses, natural building courses, Eco Village Design Education (EDE) youth camps, life skills programs, gender reconciliation, Indigenous Healing Retreats, Creative Art workshops and seasonal community celebrations)

– building simple structures from natural materials which will serve as accommodation for local and international speakers, teachers, permaculture activists, facilitators, students, volunteers and guests

– planting 300 fruit trees – avocado, banana, papaya, mango, macadamia nuts

2nd stage – middle term objectives (3rd year goal)

building Village Dam which will provide water supply for the people of Sahhulube

– installing water infrastructure system to supply small scale farmers of Sahhulube Village with water

– building the Community Hall for the entire area of Sahhulube

– creating park like setting around the community hall – planting fruit trees, flowers, building benches etc.

– erecting fences around the permaculture farm/food forest demonstration area

– clearance of the land and levelling of the demonstration farm site and green houses area

– erecting 5 green houses (to produce vegetables during all 4 seasons and protect them from pests, wild animals, strong winds and strong sun exposure)

– building warehouse for produce to be stored in

– teaching permaculture design and principles to local small scale farmers and youth

– planting 300 more fruit trees

3rd stage – long term objectives

– providing the farmers with organic seeds and supporting their livelihoods by helping them  to distribute and sell their produce at the local farmers market and grocery stores.

– creating recreational area for the people of the community by the local river

– building community food co-op/market place next to the community hall to create local economy and support fair trade

– supporting the local mothers by producing and pressing Moringa and Marula Oils. Marula treesgrow abundantly in the area and its oil derived from the fruit seed has been used in cosmetics for its anti-aging and rejuvenating properties.

– harvesting, processing and selling African Indigenous healing plants like Aloe Ferox and others.     

Land Management

We use and support only sound environmental practices and conscious permaculture design and are dedicated to build diverse, stable and resilient ecosystems. We put strong emphasis on continuously building healthier and more productive soil full of beneficial organisms, with good defence capabilities, improving each year by replicating natural soil building processes, adding natural waste such as compost, leaves, green manure, use mulching, crop rotating etc. Cover crops will be used routinely to provide multiple benefits, such as adding nitrogen and organic matter to soil, habitat for beneficial insects, reducing erosion and enhancing water infiltration into the soil.    Plants will be allowed to set seeds and will be interplanted for pest control. Trees will be also part of conscious design, creating shelter and wind barrier/wall to help smaller plants and vegetables to thrive.

Our general manager Lucky Kekana will oversee the whole project and is in charge of design/strategy planning of the food forest/farm site and will lead his team in building the project structures. During the first year, he will lead, train and supervise the team workers and volunteers in clearing the land, building the community dam, installing the water infrastructure, building the community hall and erecting the fences around the living working permaculture farm/food forest area.

The water for the land will be brought by pipe infrastructure from the main water source, an all year running mountain spring. Landscape will be rehydrated by harvesting, storing and accumulating rainwater on the land, by building water catchment areas like small dam, ponds and by building tranches around the food beds.   

Our farm manager Dokodela Nkabinde, skilled local farmer who will oversee the food production is responsible for the water management on the land. He will be installing the water pipes for the water supply and setting up irrigation system for the farm/food forest and the community. He will as well manage the pest control on the farm.

Meicie Msibi will manage and train the field workers in permaculture farming and oversee the implementation of the permaculture design, soil preparation and cultivation and tree planting at the farm, food forest and green houses site.   

Mbudi Lucky Mkhonto will be responsible for maintenance of the land and management of the waste. This will include care and repair needed for fencing, green houses, buildings, tools. He will review and correct all possible health and safety risks on the site.

Project justification

We are facing food scarcity, rising food prices, high rate of unemployment, rise of HIV AIDS victims and teenage pregnancies in the area. Alcoholism and drug abuse are destroying many families. Local youth lack access to higher education, sport and community activities. People have no motivation and feel disempowered.

Majority of all farmers are women. They are key agricultural producers contributing about 70% of all labor in food production and yet they have no access to trainings, technical assistance or agricultural resources. They have no access to water and are fully dependent on seasonal rains to produce their food. Poor agricultural practices such as excessive use of chemicals, burning of crop residues during land preparation and improper soil conservation practices contribute to nutrient depletion, hence declining soil productivity. The farmers mainly grow GMO corn which serves as a staple diet.