The programme of the Gaia course is focussed mainly on environmental protection, sustainable development and recycling. It is a combination of studies, investigations and presentations and of practical actions. The 2 main practical tasks of the Gaia team are to take part in running our clothes and shoes recycling project and to take care of and develop our Garden Farming.
The clothes and shoes recycling project is an important source of income for the College, as we don’t receive any funding from the state or have any other sponsors. The money for scholarships also comes from the proceeds of our clothes collection.
T o increase our scholarship fund and the possibility of giving scholarships, we started the Gaia Course in 2004. During the Gaia Course, a limited group of people can raise their own scholarship towards the costs of the DI/ Fighting with the Poor programme by helping to improve the earnings of the recycling project.
We put leaflets into people’s letterboxes explaining about our scholarship fund and asking them to donate their surplus clothes to us. A couple of days later we drive the same route with a van and pick up the bags that people have put outside. Once collected, the clothes are packed in large bags - cap sacks - which are loaded onto trucks.
Most of the participants in the Gaia team continue as Development Instructor trainees at CICD.
Applications from Gaia team members take priority to get scholarships from the door to door fund. Participants, whose efforts have resulted in amounts equivalent to the Development Instructor course fees being placed in the scholarship fund, are guaranteed a place.