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Life in Belgium as a 'Schumacher Sprout'

As you set out for Ithaka
hope your road is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.

- Ithaka, by C.P.Cavafy

Two years ago, we came back to Belgium from the Schumacher College, transformed and eager to share our experience with others - so we created the Schumacher Sprouts.

What we loved most about the experience was the community life. This made the fundamental difference with the other educational programs. We lived together, cooked together, gardened together, laughed and cried together and hence, we learned together and thought each other. This was such a profound experience that when we came back, we wanted to create our own learning community, and share everything we had learned.

May there be many summer mornings when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you enter harbors you’re seeing for the first time 

-Ithaka by C.P Cavafy

Satish told us we first needed to find a place, a vessel to start our journey - not an easy task. We wanted to find our own place, to be grounded in a local context, from where to reach out to the local partners, students and teachers. A place, the Froidefontaine Farm in Havelange, found us and our journey could begin.

The Farm is a beautiful, living estate, where farmers, producers, craftsmen and artists, cooperate to regenerate the land and its surroundings. This is where our journey starts but along the way, other places are calling us, other living communities that want to include a Schumacher-inspired learning in their place.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you’re destined for.
But don’t hurry the journey at all.

- Ithaka by C.P.Cavafy

We are preparing a series of short courses on topics like holistic business, deep ecology, regenerative societies, decolonising minds, the power of imagination, etc. This will only be the starting point of our learning community - because we dream of creating innovative multidisciplinary master degree(s) in the academic curriculum. We were ready to launch the Schumacher Sprouts when the Covid-19 virus decided to put us on hold. We took the reprieve as a gift, to deepen our reflection on the kind of teaching we want to offer and the partners we want to collaborate with.

If Covid-19 has taught us only one lesson, it is the reminder of how fragile and interdependent we all are. We cannot do this alone.

Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you wouldn't have set out.

- Ithaka by C.P.Cavafy

It is with deep gratitude that we look back on our times at Schumacher College. Without it, we would not have been able to sprout. We are on our own journey, but we are not alone. We are carried by the whole Schumacher community.

The Schumacher Sprouts, Belgium