TISKILWA — Melissa Nomakhosi Ndlovu has joined the Hungry World Farm (HWF) team.
Arriving in late August from Zimbabwe through Mennonite Central Committee’s 11-month International Volunteer Exchange Program (IVEP), Nomakhosi shares with Hungry World Farm and the broader Tiskilwa community her enthusiasm, love of learning, desire to help build a healthier and more just and peaceful world, and strong professional background in nutrition and dietetics.
Before beginning this year’s IVEP program, she worked as a nutritionist, developing strategies to promote the health of children and to support young mothers.
She has found it satisfying to work in nutrition education because of the significant impact she sees her work making in the lives of those she serves.
Nomakhosi recognizes the healing difference that diverse and balanced diet, adequate nutrition, and healthy lifestyle choices can make in individuals and communities, and she desires to strengthen the systems that make health-promoting foods and resources more accessible to those in greatest need.
Nomakhosi recognizes the vital connections between the health of humans, lands, foods, food systems, and communities, and she seeks to learn more about, and strengthen, these connections while interning with Hungry World Farm.
“In working with HWF, I hope to gain an in-depth knowledge of the food I work with as a nutritionist. I hope it prepares me for being able to answer at any advisory platform involving food,” she said.
She recognizes how a healthy intersection of agriculture and nutrition can holistically transform the life and health of communities, and she plans to promote that transformation through her work now at HWF and in the future through additional studies and an eventual career in Development Policy back in Africa.
She and her co-workers at Hungry World Farm are confident that her experience with Hungry World Farm will provide new insights and skills that will strengthen her ability to respond to the health needs of the times in ways that are appropriate, effective, and which lead to positive change from the “ground up.”
Her first months provide a context for reflection on nature and creation, deepening her “appreciation that every living creature has a role in maintaining balance in the ecosystem.” She has also enjoyed learning to actively recycle everything, and she is growing in her awareness of the cycles and patterns that are a part of life and death.
Hungry World Farm began in the fall of 2017 as a nonprofit organization receiving the former Plow Creek property east of Tiskilwa that includes tillable land, woods, and a native hillside prairie.
Hungry World Farm utilizes the farm as a textbook for healthy, sustainable food production and seeks to empower individuals and communities to strengthen local food systems and reflect on their own consumption and systemic impact on the environment.
The HWF team currently consists of two lead farmers, a steering committee and board of directors, and a growing number of local volunteers. If anyone would like to explore supporting the startup or volunteering on the farm, they can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.