SHE-EDE - Women Ecovillage Design Education


Type: Face to Face 

Start Date: April 2024

End Date: December 2024



Covão do Feto, Portugal

Narni, Umbria, Italy

Certified by:

Organised by:


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This SHE-EDE program is designed and follows Mother Earth seasonal rhythms of lifeMatriarchal Wisdom, the Spiral wheel of the Work that Reconnect and the Wheel of Gaia Education, Ecovillage Design Education program. This last is an  award-winning provider of holistic learning for Sustainable Development. Gaia Education and the Work that Reconnects are meant to empower students across the globe to see the interconnections of life by learning to design sustainable communities, restoring balance to our planet in the urgent transition to a more regenerative future, reversing the climate crisisModern Matriarchal Studies are eye openers to a new ecological egalitarian way of life.

This new program’s format of She-EDE combines all these wisdoms to empower participants to a new way of living in communities focusing on maternal values. It will be held in presence, but rather than being structured as a monthly program,  it is designed to be a cycle of 4 separate weeks per year, each corresponding to one of the four dimensions of the Gaia Education Wheel. It will be held  in two different locations in Europe, in Portugal and in Italy. Led by a group of passionate facilitatresses coming from different fields of education and care, this series of events are open to everyone. English will be the official language even if all the facilitatresses speak many languages.The course will be held first in 2024 and repeated in 2025 in order to facilitate attendance and personal learning pace. This program will be certified by Gaia Education if the four dimensions that are taught during the two years are attended and Gaia Education requirements fulfilled. 

This new series of event we are offering is open to everyone and will be held by certified and experienced facilitatresses in cycles of eight days each.

Bringing together experience in ecovillage design, matriarchal societies, feminine wisdom, activism, community building and healing circles, we created a new format of EDE – responding to the worldwide need of mutual maternal values support and empowerment.

In order to be certificated by Gaia Education it is necessary to attend the four different dimensions for a total of 4 weeks, but the courses can be attended without the objective of certification. 

These courses are meant to give also many other tools such as the one belonging to the Work That Reconnects (WTR) practices on weaving connections, uplifting creative ecological expressions and collaborating in service to the Great Turning or the Transition Town Movement tool kit and last but not least Matriarchal Societies knowledge

The program is structured with the model head, heart and hands of the four dimensions of Gaia Education wheel: the ecological, the cultural, the social and the economic dimension. There will be also comparisons to the principles of matriarchal societies’ dimensions that are sisters to the ecological values and of which all the ecological movements take primary inspiration.

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Building Dreams

Spring 2024
April 28 – May 6
Covão do Feto,
Alcanena, Portugal

Summer 2024
20 – 28 July
Umbria, Italy

Fall 2024
11 – 19 October
Covão do Feto,
Alcanena, Portugal

Winter 2024
Nov 29th – Dec 7th
Umbria, Italy

Narni, Italy

On the hillsides of Narni, surrounded by woods and olive trees this old farmhouse is the home of MatriCulture, project led by led by  association BestUp to create a school for Matriarchal studies and  women’s empowerment. The main house hosts 15 people. The house has 3 fully equipped bathrooms, and a big common area for study, a library, a big kitchen for cooking together, an area for eating inside that welcomes 15 people and many outside areas to eat and work. There is also a big common studio area that is also a yoga room where to work together. Lots of land surrounds the house to create safe spaces and enable participants to install their tents. Compost toilets and outside showers are being built for the sake of happy campers. There is also an outside wood oven. The project is under construction and will be finished in July 2024 for the opening of the first SHE-EDE.  We are a startup project so everyone is needed to make it happen and make it better every year.

Led by a group of passionate women, they are solidly working to create this space for sharing wisdoms.


Covão do Feto, Portugal


On the land in Covão do Feto, the intention is to build a community linked to the village community. Out of a small garage, the house was built in auto-construction by the hands of the guardian of the land and her friends, endeavoring to use local resources wherever possible. It has a living room, kitchen and bathroom on the lower floor and two bedrooms on the upper floor, which together house 8 people. Participants will camp on site, supported by a dry toilet and an outdoor shower. The house provides support for cooking, but meals will be taken outside, where there is a large table, benches and a cupboard to store some food. Outside, throughout the programme, there will be an area for sorting rubbish and washing up.


How to run an EDE?

Several of our EDE graduates have carried on organising EDE programmes in their local areas, and you are warmly encouraged to do so after completing your course.

The recommended time frame of an EDE is four weeks, however this is not fixed and varies with each individual programme.

The material can be condensed into smaller workshops, spread out over a longer period, or distributed in blocks at different times and locations.