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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 Poverty Activist teams, by helping to improve the earnings of the college's clothes and shoes recycling project or help in other areas. It takes 6 months to raise a scholarship towards the full course fees, but if there is availability you can also join for 3-4 months and raise around half a scholarship.

Starting dates: the 15. January and 15. July every year.

NB. Because of the UK immigration rules, the scholarship programme is available only for students who are UK or Irish citizens or have "leave to remain" in UK, and citizens of countries in the EU or the EEA.

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 Poverty Activist teams.

The Gaia Team functions as one team, even though students may start at different times and can be enrolled for different teams after the Gaia period. The 6 months Gaia programme can be available to join also between the fixed start & end dates, if there is a spot available.

Each week there is 1,5 study day. There is one study weekend per month. The Gaia programme is designed to give 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.
The Gaia programme is intensive, result-oriented and hands-on. Be prepared to be very 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 helps to operate the clothes and shoes collection, by maintaining and repairing our boxes as well as finding new places to "host" more collection boxes. They also have the opportunity to help in our promotion and enrolment office to recruit the students for the coming teams and go out for meetings and presentations in schools or other places. There can also be opportunities to help with other parts of CICD-s activities such as gardening and maintenance. 

Besides, many smaller projects have found their way into the Gaia team programme - practical exercises in, for example, building fire-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