Putting theory into practice for the most vulnerable people so they get a better life. This been the core of my work life ever since I got my MSc in Forestry at Wageningen University. For ten years I was involved in research on drought-tolerant perennial plants, seed storage, seed viability, the direct seeding of the plants and their survivability in Niger. Direct seeding methods and seed packages were shared with the local population. By giving them the knowledge and practice of regenerating different tree species in their environment they created food sources which in their turn produce diverse and nutrient rich food throughout the whole year.
Later involvement concentrated on food processing and developing value chains based on the leafs, fruits and seeds of those local trees. My dream is that the poorest of the poor in the Sahel and other dry areas will be producers of nutritious and healthy food where they can live off themselves. Also I am longing to see people in the urban areas in the Sahel eating those foods from their own country with proud and dignity. The expertise of building food security and the experience of living in Niger for many years is of great value in my current role at Woord en Daad.