Initiative of Nagaland Baptist Church Council planting 100,000 + Moringa Seeds – A move to help regenerate soil, grow healthy plants, and sow peace

By Aien Amri

(Reposted from: MOKOKCHUNG TIMES. May 17, 2024.)

Editor’s Note: In July 2021, the Centre for Peace Education Manipur (CFPEM) (India) launched a campaign to plant more than 10,000 moringa trees in South East Asia.  Leban Serto, convenor, dedicated the effort to the Global Campaign for Peace Education (GCPE).  Leban was a participant in the 1999 Hague Appeal for Peace Conference where the GCPE was launched. He argued that peace education is needed now more than ever and environmental sustainability and peace are intimately related. The GCPE has been a proud partner in this effort to spread peace and sustainability through the planting of moringa tress around the world.

Despite Covid, in the year 2021, a campaign to plant 10k + moringas in the South East Asia started in partnership with the Global Campaign for Peace Education ( GCPE). I was also engaged as one of the advisors from India, where we also promoted through a local forum “Natures, Pets Guardian, Nagaland (NPG). Dr Leban Serto introduced us to the GCPE, which is coordinated world wide by Dr Tony Jenkins from the US. The GCPE began from the Hague Appeal for Peace in 1999. In July 2021 as we started advocating about the moringa tree, I began to learn how beneficial and sacred this plant was, I started collaborating with different churches, schools, colleges, NGOs, and different leaders /elders from various local and beyond. I was advocating for the growing of Moringa trees and also for Peace Education, which is very much a priority in our society and also which is one of the core values of GCPE.

In the year 2021 when we started this campaign we started just with the aim to plant 10k + moringas in South East Asia but the very first year itself we as a team planted around 50k + moringas and on the 2nd year also we planted above 50k + moringas in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Philippines, Hong Kong, and even reaching South Africa with Mariana Price, who started the Shine Africa Campaign in October 2021.

The significant step is the role of NBCC joined and now leading the group to grow 105000 moringa seeds across Nagaland, India since January 2024. After procuring the 24 kg of best seeds in January 2024, NBCC distributed to its various associations across Nagaland who prepared the seeds and sprouts which they officially announce and planted on 18th May 2024. This venture is perhaps a local organic initiative and climate action and greatly appreciated to the leaderships of NBCC General Secretary Rev Dr Zelhou Keyho and Youth Secretary Rev Suhoto Chishi.

This initiative will educate and involve the people to know the importance and value of moringa tree and can give a positive shift in our soil regeneration, provide healthy nutrients in our overall diet systems. Through this campaign, we must encourage the growing of at least one moringa tree in all the households in Nagaland.

Recollecting the collaboration with the NBCC in the year 2023, a key Baptist Christian organization based in Nagaland, India. It is affiliated with the Council of Baptist Churches in Northeast India( CBCNEI) and the Asia Pacific Baptist Federation (APBF), Baptist World Alliance (BWA); the headquarters is located in Kohima, the capital of Nagaland.

The youth secretary of Ao Baptist Arogo Mungdang (ABAM IMPUR), Toshi Sanglir in connection with the NBCC invited me to address the Youth leaders retreat meeting on 26th September 2023 at Jalukie where the proposal was given by the NBCC Youth Secretary Rev Suhuto Chishi to plant Moringa in all associations under NBCC as their project to care for the Mother Earth and for all living creatures . The proposal was later accepted by the larger Council of leaders of NBCC . Eventually, in early January 2024 they purchased 24 kgs of healthy Moringa seeds which is around 1 lakh five thousand seeds in totality to be distributed to all the churches under NBCC.

During April 2024 as part of my Local and Global initiatives, I receive the Scholarship for the in-person training of the Moringa for Life (Vista, CA) course in Sri Lanka. The first of its kind- an intensive week-long training in Asia Pacific, facilitated by Mariko Gifford and Damayanti Lee. The program is an ice breaker in rebuilding and boosting to all the works that I have been doing in last few years. We began by celebrating the “National Moringa Day in Sri Lanka,” which was inaugurated by the Agriculture Minister and Medicine, Shri Sisira Jayakoti at Colombo on 18th April 2024. Later, we celebrated the World “Earth Day” at Trincomalae, Sri Lanka by planting many moringa trees at the farm by the trainees of Moringa for life.

This year we welcome our new advisors team members, Amit Barikeri (India) and writer Mohana Gill (Malaysia). We also express our heartfelt gratitude to Pastor George Gnade and the members of the Little White Community Church ( LWCC), Heartlake, PA, US for initially supporting us with seeds.

The present initiative taken by NBCC, has involved the local communities and created a larger participation to grow more for regenerating soils and sustainable healthy environment. This is indeed ray of hope and faith!

Join the Campaign & help us #SpreadPeaceEd!
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