Located in the picturesque surroundings of Fawwara, Siġġiewi, the Fawwara Centre is a multipurpose centre for research and practice in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).
ESD seeks to empower people to acquire the values and skills needed to become participants in the creation of a socially just and environmentally sound society.
The Centre is housed in an ex-government school built in 1954 and features a lobby/reception area that doubles as a seminar room, a specialised ESD reference library, and office spaces. On the outside, the Fawwara Centre is surrounded by two stretches of land that are also under our care. At the front of the building is a small stretch of land that we have turned into an educational edible garden inspired by permaculture principles. This is used to explore different techniques that aim to create food harvests that protect surrounding ecosystems and enrich long-term soil fertility.
Since ESD can potentially take innumerable guises, we have strived to ensure that the Fawwara Centre is a flexible and inclusive enough space to be able to respond effectively to a multitude of different ESD-related scenarios. Our work has thus been mostly geared towards developing the Centre into a space for ESD research, practice and encounters. We believe that we can act as an important bridge between the academic world and the wider community and in this respect the Fawwara Centre is an ideal node in linking these spheres.
The Fawwara Centre is a base of operations for our academic staff, offering an ideal space to get away from distractions. The Centre has a highly specialised ESD library, including theses and dissertation carried out through CEER, as well as material on other specialised areas like permaculture and organic agriculture. Our library also has student work-stations which are at the disposal of post-graduate researchers to use during their research. These work-stations offer students the opportunity to work on their research without any distractions and with the library material readily available.
Education is an underlying theme of a lot of the Centre’s activity. We host various educational activities, be they formal, non-formal and informal. The Centre is used for lecturers by our academic staff, for research seminars by our Master in Education for Sustainable Development students, and also for sessions by other University entities whose pedagogical interests are congruent with ESD.
The Fawwara Centre is also an ideal site for non-formal educational sessions. The setting and surrounding grounds offer a space for less formal exploration of themes and issues that are relevant to ESD and have collaborated with government youth agencies, schools and non-governmental organisations to organise such non-formal educational sessions.
The Fawwara Centre is also a space for informal education, which mostly occurs through unplanned conversations with visitors of the Centre. The Centre is located on a highly popular trekking route and sees a significant amount of foot traffic go past it. It is not uncommon for passers-by to be intrigued by the building and drop in to learn more about its past and current use. This offers an excellent opportunity for informal education through the discussion of relevant themes that crop up in the process.
The idyllic setting of the Centre makes it an optimal space for encounters and meetings. Indeed, we aim for the Centre to be a physical place of contact between different entities, helping to connect people with similar research and educational interests, facilitating the forging of new networks and serving as a breeding ground for new ideas, initiatives and collaborations in ESD. The Centre also serves as a space for exploratory encounters with entities that are not directly interested in ESD but have the potential to include elements of it within their scope.
In such cases visits to the Centre create bridges that can be used to promote our work, as well as ESD in general. The Centre is also a place for civil society organisations that have ESD within their scope to organise activities of their own. This latter aspect is a key ingredient in establishing new avenues of collaboration and reaching out to people and organisations from the wider community working on independent initiatives in parallel to our work.
We welcome opportunities to help and to collaborate with civil society partners and organisations on projects that are in line with our mission and vision. Get in touch with us.