Over the years I have helped many people with their Moringa projects. They found me at the farm or at a farmer’s market. Some made contact through my website or tracked me down at home. There are many more to come as the Moringa work unfolds.
Kidima Lukowa – Congo
Kidima contacted me through my website many years ago. He was interested in growing Moringa in the Congo. He had many questions about how to make the many products I had at that time. After many emails, I realized it would be better for him to come and spend a day with me to learn. We set up a day to meet at my office. In the meantime, I had received a large box of passion fruit from a friend so I planned a dinner with the household and a few friends to meet Kidima.
Kidima and I worked throughout the day. I made all of the products except the Moringa soap. Soap is such a long process that I decided to focus on all the other products instead. As we worked, Kidima told me his story.
He is from a small village 500 miles from the nearest city. as a young child, the elders noticed that he had a high intelligence. By the time he was school age, his village decided to send him to school. They pooled their money together for his uniform, books supplies, transportation and lodging. Because the school was so far away, he had to live there too. He was the first from his village to ever graduate from elementary school. So they sent him to middle school and then to high school and college. He stayed in school until he had a PhD in Linguistics. At the time I met him, he was living in Los Angeles working at UCLA . He spent a year doing research to find something he could give back to his village. After a long search, he came to Moringa and decided to give this amazing plant to his people. He had not been back home for 20 years. He had not seen his son, daughter, wife or mother since then. Each month he sent money back to pay for his children’s schooling and the care of his family. A plane ticket would be too much to sacrifice. He saved enough for his brother to buy 6 acres and plant Moringa. After many challenges, they were able to grow Moringa. I hadn’t heard back from Kidima in many years, but last year he emailed me to ask if I would be an adviser on the non-profit he was forming. He said that his mother, who had always been in and out of the hospital, had not been there for a whole year. She had been skeptical about Moringa but even she had acknowledged that Moringa was helping her.
I look forward to this work with Kidima and the unfolding of his Moringa Journey.
Oh, and after our day of work, he joined my family and friends for a dinner of salmon with passion fruit sauce, Moringa rice and passion fruit mousse with chocolate sauce for dessert.
Udbi Wallins – Somalia
Udbi contacted me through my website. She had been to ECHO and had learned all about Moringa and how to plant it. She took seed back to her country to begin a project to help widowed women farmers. So many men of the villages are killed in the war so the women al left to tend the farms and the children. They planted Moringa and it thrived. It grew to 10 feet in the first year. Now that they had Moringa growing, Udbi wanted to teach them the variety of products they could make with it. So she came and stayed with me for three days. I taught her how to make all of the products I make.
On the last evening I had a dinner and invited friends to see her slide show of the village women, their children and Moringa. They are such beautiful elegant people. The Moringa was tall and lush and beautiful.
Its been a long time since I heard from Udbi. Because of the was there, we heard that the Moringa trees are not accessible to the village. Many people have died from the war or from starvation especially the children.
I hope Udbi will contact me so I can find ways to help.