After passport and other delays, Maureen and her daughter Kaya will finally be arriving in Cameroon in January, where she will be working with schools and women’s groups in the Oku municipality. She has identified the goals of her work there as: 1) to work with local farmers to increase growth and production of existing plants, 2) to plant twenty-five new plants in primary/ secondary schools, 3) to educate the public about the benefits and cultivation of these plants—from seed to harvest, 4) to assist women co-ops to grow, save seeds and create a manageable/ realistic product to be marketed for a profit, 5) increase the consumption to combat nutrient and health deficiencies, and 6) to create a long-term viable project for the people within these communities. Maureen has applied for a Fulbright scholarship to extend her work in Cameroon through 2017, allowing her two growing seasons to develop and refine community connections and practices, so that when she leaves she can be confident of having fostered ongoing effective use of moringa.
In addition to this work, she has forged a connection with the Millennium Ecological Museum in Yaoundé, whose curator, Professor Nkongmeneck Bernard-Aloys, will assist Maureen in her research into traditional and modern uses of moringa. Maureen, in turn, will visit Yaoundé every other month to assist the museum with workshops on this miracle plant.