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The Gaia Programme is a combination of theoretical studies and practical tasks. It gives you the possibility to raise a scholarship towards the course fees of the Development Instructor and Climate Activist programmes, by helping to improve the earnings of the college's clothes and shoes recycling project. NB. Because of the UK immigration rules, the scholarship programme is only available for students who are citizens in countries in the EU or the EEA, UK and Irish citizens, and students who have "Settled or Pre-settled status" in the UK.

The name of our Gaia programme comes from the Greek mythology. Gaia is the name for Mother Earth and was used by the English chemist James Lovelock to describe his theory that the earth is alive. We have used the Gaia theory as the basis for taking action. The programme of the Gaia course is a combination of practical actions, studies, investigations and presentations. The Gaia Team has played an essential part in building up our organic garden farm.

The proceeds of the Gaia team activities are used to cover the costs of running the Gaia programme, and for scholarships for students who cannot afford the course fees. Most participants in the Gaia team qualify for a scholarship and continue in one of our volunteer programmes at CICD.

The Gaia Team functions as one team, even though students start at different times and are enrolled for different teams after the Gaia period. This also means that the 6 months Gaia programme has no start or end date – you can join it any time. Each week contains 4 1-hour sessions (17.00 – 18.00) and a full study day. Besides there is one study weekend / month.
The Gaia programme is designed to give the you an understanding of poverty and environmental issues, and to give you tools and skills so you can take your own stand and make your voice heard.
There is an extensive study and practical programme at the Gaia course. Be prepared to be extremely busy!

Running the school

Running the school

Collecting second hand clothes and shoes

Collecting second hand clothes and shoes

Study hour

Study hour

Some of the areas of study are:

  • Earth Systems Science and the Gaia Theory
  • Climate Change
  • Reducing the Impact of Climate Change
  • Environmental Justice

The Gaia programme is project oriented - we do something about the things we discuss and learn about. Some projects are ongoing and decided by CICD. The Gaia team operates the clothes and shoes collection, by emptying our second hand collection boxes in the Yorkshire and Newcastle areas, maintaining and repairing our boxes and finding new places for our collection boxes. They also have the opportunity to help our promotion and admission office to promote and recruit new future Development Instructors or Climate Activists.

Besides, many smaller projects have found their way into the Gaia team programme - practical exercises in, for example, building wood saving stoves, composting, maintaining and developing the park at Winestead Hall.

Click here to listen to Rolf Jakobsson, clothes collection manager, tell about the history of our college and why we started the clothes collection: https://soundcloud.com/cicd/the-story-of-cicd-by-rolf