To develop local resources, help the country of the “Indomitable Lions” overcome its dependence on imported food products, and create value and jobs: this is Dorothy Binla Selamo’s goal…
A project born from chaos
In February 2008, Cameroon experienced terrible riots. The population, and young people in particular, were already suffering from high unemployment when a sharp rise in the price of essential goods put a spark to the powder. The “hunger riots” that ensued resulted in dozens of deaths, so Dorothy Binla Selamo decided to act.
A root worth its weight in gold
Native to South America, the cassava root is a staple of the African diet. Cameroon has a dynamic agricultural sector but, until now, there had been no innovation in the way the root is used. Dorothy’s idea: use locally produced cassava to make pasta instead of imported wheat.
Dorothy’s ambition? Feed all of sub-Saharan Africa, and then….why not Europe and the rest of the World?
After 3 years working to find the right manufacturing process, Dorothy filed a patent in 2010, and baptised her spaghetti “miondonini” — “miondo” means “cassava sticks.”
Dorothy’s workshop has no running water, meaning that several trips have to be made to the well each day to fill jerry cans with the water needed for production. And each morning, Dorothy goes to the local market to buy the precious roots, which are then peeled, cut, crushed and dried at low temperature before being transformed into pasta.
Today, her workshop produces a few hundred packets a day. The benefits of Miondonini?
- develops local resources.
- maintains farm jobs, while creating manufacturing jobs.
- rich in fibre and gluten free.
Cameroon: a project nursery
Like Dorothy, Cameroonians are full of ideas and innovative projects. For example, a dozen Douala University students have created a process for transforming household compostable waste into “organic” coal. This new eco-friendly process is free of any toxic fumes, recycles waste and burns longer than conventional wood charcoal.
Another unusual example: Inventor Valentin Samuel Djoko has created an ox horn bed manufactured from processed horns (one hundred per bed) and bamboo, all assembled with putty! According to its inventor, the ox horn bed, in addition to being comfortable, will ease rheumatism, anxiety and improve fertility. Note: to anyone lucky enough to have tested this new bed design: we’d love you to confirm the veracity of these promises!
But back on topic…
So what makes the “Indomitable Lions*” indomitable?
Since 2015, Cameroon’s football team has been fed miondonini. The team’s first order of 750 packages was also the largest ever recorded by Dorothy. To fulfill it was no easy task, especially given the workshop’s lack of running water, frequent power cuts and rudimentary equipment.
But Dorothy and her team were able to complete the order, and the lions are more indomitable than ever!
Contact, encourage and support Dorothy and her team: http://garilandacademy.org/
* “The Indomitable Lions” is the nickname of the football team of Cameroon