Personal constraints are those which we place on themselves through our own self-image as we seek the approval and acceptance of people who are significant to us in our lives. This involves previously unquestioned visions we have of ourselves, of the world, and of God.
Cultural constraints are those enforced by the particular culture to which one may be required to conform. In itself, the culture is positive but the necessity to conform to the communal way of behaving and working is strong. Any attempt to shy away can give rise to contradictions and criticism. This affects our Fijian people greatly, especially in the area of land use and economic endeavors which can be seen as individualistic and selfish.
Social constraints occur because we have all been subtly trained by the world around us in regard to our attitudes and beliefs. Some of these attitudes and beliefs are true, some half true, some false but they are constraints none-the-less, which affect our sense of freedom. Seeing and understanding these constraints for what they are, we can then readjust our sights, so that we are ‘set free’ (liberare), liberated from the confinement and oppression which control us.
This challenge from one’s social environment has been termed by Paulo Freire as the contradiction from which a person in a situation of ‘oppression’ is liberated through the realization that he/she has the power to transform the situation causing and keeping one oppressed. For Freire, the person who thinks and reflects goes about creating him/herself from the inside out. He/she transforms reality and liberates him/herself from the oppression that has been inserted by traditional pedagogy. In the same way, when he/she acquires a new way of thinking and understanding of the social status which changes him/her. For Freire, liberation is a deep understanding which liberates the person from oppression which is found imbedded in the consciousness of the individual who possesses it.
This is actually what Tutu is also trying to do – to have participants understand the constraints which are holding them in ‘captivity’ so to say. It is the vision of ourselves, of the world and of God which we want to question.
Tutu is about helping the participants understand about their constraints
As we noted earlier, in discerning participants for Tutu programs, we look for a manifestation of desire and a willingness to make a commitment to the process prior to entry into the course. They do this by achieving targets set for and with them by our visiting staff in the home situation, in the year (or more) prior to commencement.
… we look for a manifestation of desire and a willingness to make a commitment to the process prior to entry into the course.
This process is holistic and includes the affective (emotional) aspect of life whereby a person is helped to take responsibility for his/her own feelings. This involves the whole person, including the intellectual aspect whereby participants are helped to take responsibility for their own thoughts, beliefs, and assumptions. Insights are confirmed by the ability and freedom of each person to name both the old and new way of seeing things. It includes the moral aspect whereby the person is helped to take responsibility for his/her own behavior, and his/her own choices. We explain the type of responsibility involved here as responsibility for autonomy, i.e., physical, emotional, and spiritual autonomy.
The person is central in this process, not things. While the individual focus is important, the process itself takes place in a group environment in Tutu. Values, ideals, dreams and visions are caught, not taught. They are picked up and passed on informally as well as presented formally in course sessions, from the formators, farm staff, even other participants, hence the importance of the group relationship.
Values, ideals, dreams and visions are caught, not taught.
Because this learning or human development process takes place in an institution, it is ideal that there are periods of oscillation between the home community and the institutional community. Our own limit is five weeks at most in the Centre, followed by the corresponding time at home. It is helpful for participants to have the opportunity to exercise their commitment to the values and ideals they profess individually, both in the context of the community which professes the same commitment, and in a world which may not profess the same values and commitment.
The immediate environment surrounding the person(s) during the process is important. The freedom for participants to grow and change demands a respectful, loving, and accepting atmosphere, so that they are free to challenge and be challenged in their attitudes, beliefs, and behavior. It includes what we call ‘loving confrontation’ which is stimulated by the principle of fairness and is an essential part of the process.
It is an experiential process. People learn through experience. The truths we live by are the ones we discover for ourselves; not what others tell us. The learner is in charge of the process. The learner sets the agenda. The learner initially begins with felt needs and must be led to discover for himself/herself the real personal needs. It is a process of empowerment.
This process is at the heart of what we mean by Rural Adult Education for Self – employment. We call it “Adult Learning.”
Because we are involved in a human process, our expertise needs to be in the field of human development in the broadest sense. As part of the learning or development process, Tutu programs include specific sessions in human development. These take priority and are held early each day in all courses including the longer program for Young Farmers as judged appropriate. These sessions need the atmosphere and quality of our staff ‘presence’, together with the structures which all lead to support growth towards autonomy. This is an important aspect of the overall Tutu programs, and of the quality of staff presence and personal dedication which determines the outcome.
Empowerment of the human person means new enlightenment and new ways of looking at oneself and the surrounding world. It the awakening in participants, of a new awareness of the resources, the opportunities, the dignity, the unperceived possibilities that exist for them in the land and sea which they own. Then in turn, participants gain the energy to take hold of their lives and to take up the skills of farm management. This entails management of one’s own person, one’s time, the soil, the crops, and the fruits of one’s labor, which can be counted in financial terms. So, we define the process of human development as:
a process whereby a person in and through community, assumes responsibility for his/her growth as a person, in the service of the world in which he/she lives. It is a process of liberation by which, under skilled guides, a person grows in freeing himself/herself from constraints of a personal order and a social or cultural order.
Empowerment of the human person; new light + new path ways
Young Farmers 2020
A process in and through community
His/her growth as a person in the services of the world
A process of liberation
Under skill guide a person learns to free herself
A single woman participants with her display accompanied by her father
Proper programming of fertilizer must be taken into account resulting from the soil test or the refractometer reading of the crop, the effect on soil health or the relationship of such fertilization to insect, disease and weed pressures. TRTC is trialing the use of Compost and Compost Tea for replacing topsoil that have been lost or addicted to using pesticides. Caring for your soil is like entrusting your assets to an investment broker and five years later, noticed that your real net worth (principal) had decreased. You probably would no longer leave your assets with that broker even if he/she claimed he/she was getting record yields.
With ecological conversions of minds and heart, TRTC’s soil re-generation activities have taken into account several factors including the proper use of fertilizers, the best cultural practices employed, climate, availability of water, farmers management ability and not forgetting the economics factors. Compost is Wealth.
Matured compost ready for the field.
Wood chips for mulching and compost.
Proposed compost material: dried leaves and wood chips as source of carbon.
Piled compost using the eight weeks system.
Field direct application.
Being used as a potting media for vegetables seedlings.
Compost being applied on raised bed farming method.