IMPROVING LIVELIHOODSthrough the Power and Simplicity of the Moringa Tree
“My family and business are healthy and we are no longer poor. Thank you, Strong Harvest, you saved my life!”
Yaya’s Story – A New Life in Burkina Faso
Yaya Coulibaly had no job and was living with his family in a mud brick house. To feed his family, he would cut grass to sell as animal feed, earning less than $1 per day. Near his home in Burkina Faso, moringa trees were growing and his family would gather the leaves for food, not knowing of their amazing properties.
This all changed in 2015, when Yaya received Strong Harvest Moringa Peer Educator training at a local church. Once he learned all about moringa, everything changed! He began planting trees on his property and making moringa powder. Wherever he went, he carried moringa powder with him, telling people all about it and slowly building a business.
Today, he has a licensed business and three plots of land with moringa plantations on two of them to supply his business. On the third plot, he has built a cement block home with a large courtyard and a drying room for processing moringa leaves and creating products for sale.
He is glad his children will not start their lives as poor as he was. Not only do they benefit from the business – his daughter is about to finish her university studies – but they also have improved health from eating moringa every day. In the years since Yaya’s family started eating moringa, none of them has gotten seriously ill.
Giving back is important to Yaya. He knows first-hand the incredible transformation that moringa has brought to his own family and so when he meets people who truly need moringa, but can’t afford it, he graciously provides it to them free of charge.
Yaya and his family have been transformed through hard work and the power of Strong Harvest’s Moringa Peer Education!
Nangakwa – Health and Income in Tanzania
Nangakwa Olesolyo lives in a remote village called Kotina in northern Tanzania with her husband and four children. In her area, there is no electricity, no running water, and homes are made of stick and dung with a cooking fire in the middle of the floor. Life in Kotina is all about survival and women work hard to provide the basics for their children.
That’s Nangakwa, second from the right, at the moringa training with her friends and neighbors.
When Strong Harvest Moringa Peer Educator training came to her village, she saw an opportunity to provide better nutrition for her children and income for her family. After the training, Nangakwa quickly set about planting trees near her home from which she was soon able to start harvesting leaves. She is now able to feed it to her children everyday!
Nangakwa is improving the health of her family AND she’s creating income by making and selling moringa powder. As she sells the powder, she is sharing about the benefits of moringa. She has been empowered by the Strong Harvest training she’s received and is really excited about the positive changes that moringa is bringing to her family and community.
Jean & Olga – Making Soap in Togo
Jean and Olga, Strong Harvest’s Field Representatives in Togo, recently learned how to make soap using moringa leaves. Angelo, a local trainer in Togo, came to their home and spent two days teaching them everything they needed to know (first photo). They are now using this oil- and vitamin-rich soap in their own home to personally experience its benefits, as well as making batches to sell in their community.
Jean and Olga immediately started sharing their knowledge by going to the village of Atakpame to do a Continuing Education Workshop for our Moringa Peer Educators there (next three photos). Both the women and the men were excited to learn how to make this healthy soap for home-use and also to have an easy-to-make product to sell in their local markets.
Jean and Olga’s efforts were quickly rewarded when just a week later they received the first three photos below from the group in Atakpame. They had already made their own batch of soap and also pomade (a skin ointment) to sell. The final photo is of Akossiwa, also from Atakpame, who already sells moringa powder and seeds. She can now add soap and pomade to her product line to create even more income for her family. Bringing good health and additional income — hand-crafted moringa products are an awesome resource!
I’ve already made my own soap and sold it!
Fritzner – Creating Jobs in Haiti
Fritzner, our former field representative in Haiti, created an incredible business called Grace Park Community Moringa & Gardens (GPC), with his wife, Mariejocelyne. It is based on his Strong Harvest moringa training and it has created steams of income for people all along his supply chain.
He provides local youth with a way to clean up their environment and earn a little money by paying them to pick up the discarded small drinking-water bags that are left behind after soccer matches (see first photo below). He pays one price for empty bags, a higher price if they are delivered to him filled with dirt, and the highest price if a moringa sapling is already sprouting in the bag. These sapling bags are then gathered together in a plant nursery run by Suz, an entrepreneurial woman in the community (middle photo).
As Fritzner trained Strong Harvest Moringa Peer Educators he created a network of more than 100 moringa growers from whom he purchases moringa leaves and seeds to create products for GPC.
Fritzner saw a need in his church as there were many single mothers without a source of income. So, GPC focuses on employing single mothers, providing them with much-needed jobs. Below, you can see the women cracking moringa seeds to prepare for making oil, and the whole GPC team in front of their business.
Fritzner and Mariejocelyne make an excellent team creating jobs in their community and producing moringa products. Below you can see the results of their hard work in just some of their many products: moringa powder, tea, honey, soap, and oil.