Friday, December 18, 2015
This is the last post in our EPN heroes series. We've been highlighting Father Godfrey Nzamujo , the founder and director of the Songhai Centre. He and his army of "barefoot engineers" are using sustainable agriculture to create pathways towards prosperity for some of Africa's most disenfranchised.
In our earlier posts on Father Godfrey we've shared how he has uprooted the logic of poverty at work in Africa and managed to turn 2.4 acres of barren land into one of Africa's premiere research and technical school networks.
What Father Godfrey has accomplished is remarkable. Today there are thirteen Songhai Centres in four African nations. He has educated thousands, helped to provide communities with nutritious food, and impacted countless lives. What more could Father Godfrey possibly accomplish? We are glad you asked!
Father Godfrey is a world renowned agriculturist, and his work has caught the attention of some of the world's most important influencers. Starting next year, graduates of the Songhai Centre will be given opportunities to pursue degrees at any French University they qualify for, on full scholarship. There is only one condition: every scholarship recipient must agree to return to the Songhai Centre, and join the teaching or research staff.
Why all the sudden attention? Father Godfrey and his staff may be on the brink of something remarkable. They are on the verge of innovating self-sustaining agricultural ecologies. That's a mouthful! Here's a simple way to think about it. Imagine a farm where absolutely nothing gets wasted, that requires only minimal human involvement, and never uses agricultural techniques harmful to the environment.That's what Father Godfrey, with the help of his faculty and students, is creating.
They have closely studied how organic energy is used and transferred between bioforms. What they have in mind combines agriculture, livestock, and seasonal weather patterns into a closed, self-contained system. This system is driven by the natural and mutually beneficial relationships between plants, animals, and the earth. This could be a game-changer not only for Songhai but also for the world! As mankind becomes more mindful of the dangers associated with climate change and genetically modified foods, these sorts of innovations will be essential to our lives.
What Father Godfrey has accomplished through the Songhai Centre is amazing. What's more amazing is he's not done yet. Everyday he wakes up motivated to "help people who thought themselves beyond help and prove that every person has something to give society." The future looks bright for Songhai. Father Godfrey, his staff, and students are pushing the boundaries of agricultural practice. The world's next major agricultural development may well be the byproduct of their heroic work