Francis O. Olaniyi
Member of National Youth Service Corps
From January of 2012 up till the beginning of June, Trees for Life staff had multiple email exchanges with a young Nigerian named Francis Olaniyi. At that time Francis was half way into a year long project of working on MORINGA sensitization through out Nigeria. It was kicked off in Pil Gani community in Plateau State where there are lots of Moringa trees. His was a year of volunteering through the Nigerian National Youth Service.
Our initial response was to determine in what ways Trees for Life could be helpful to Francis in his plans to spread awareness about this remarkable tree. We learned that Francis was an accounting graduate from Obafemi Awolowo University in South-West Nigeria. “What I love most is touching lives positively, and want to spread the good news of Moringa to as many as possible, educate rural dwellers……curb poverty, reduce malnutrition…..and improve material health. Also, to educate the government, NGOs and others and get them involved in using Moringa to better peoples’ lives with a focus on children, youth and women.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!
Francis continues, “Futhermore, I am currently coordinating the MORINGA LOVERS project and working with other volunteers, community heads, farmers, secondary & primary school students and several youth and women’s groups.” These goals are all a part of his one-year time of service!
To assist Francis, a variety of printed materials were sent to him to use in creating his own translations in the Hausa language. He felt this would further encourage more cultivation, use and commercialisation of Moringa in the rural communities. Three weeks after shipping the materials, Francis confirmed their arrival.
In early June of this year, Francis again wrote to us: “At this juncture, let me say it has been nice knowing “trees for life”. As a matter of fact, the people in Langtang North Local government and Plateau State as a whole are much more aware about MORINGA now, especially the need to plant more trees, the need for farmers to cultivate large plantations and the need for the government and the private companies to invest in Moringa. I have facilitated workshops for farmers, who are already making plans to start large cultivations. The media has also helped me in my awareness. Some researchers in the country have shown interest in making more findings on the Moringa to further bring out more facts. I was featured on a national TV program, ‘NTA AM Express’ on Saturday March 23rd to share with the whole nation and the international community how Moringa can address major health challenges in Africa.”
Francis said he has plans, now that he is finished with his National Youth Service Corps year in Plateau State, to move to the southern part of the country, but Moringa awareness continues strongly in his future.
Francis’ story is not quite yet over! In July we were told he would be sending two copies of an educational booklet that he had written entitled: MORINGA Lovers – An Adventure of Corper Zogale (Corps Member Moringa – one who educates others about Moringa).
Moringa Lovers handbook
Authored by Francis O. Olaniyi
Francis tells how he learned about moringa from his “mum”, ended up in the National Youth Service Corps and detailed his many ideas and experiences during his year with the people in Plateau State, Nigeria. Francis closes his story by challenging the reader that “It is never too late to start maximizing the wonderful endowments of Moringa. Help yourself, help your neighbour, help your environment and help the world at large.”
We are amazed by all that Francis accomplished during his year of service! A true inspiration to others.
The following are photos taken by Francis of his work with Moringa tree planting.
Moringa seeds ready for planting
Removing the outer shell of Moringa seeds
Moringa seedlings after two weeks
A road path with Moringa trees
Be a part of the solution to malnutrition worldwide.
Help plant Moringa trees.