Across the ocean in West Africa is a small country called Benin. In Benin there is a village called Zoungbomey, which means “in the big forest.”
The women in Zoungbomey work together to make palm oil. People in Benin use palm oil for cooking, for making soap, and for making candles. The women in Zoungbomey walk a few miles carrying the heavy containers of palm oil to the local market. At the market, they sell the palm oil and use the money to buy food for the village.
The people who live in Zoungbomey had a dream. They dreamed that one day they would be able to buy a machine to help them make palm oil. This would help the village buy healthy food to eat, help them send their children to the school, and help them see a doctor when they are sick. But saving enough money to buy the palm oil machine was going to take a long time. The village needed some help to make its dream come true.
This is the real life story of the events in Zoungbomey.
Dr. Bradley A. Striebig is an associate professor of Engineering at James Madison University. He has a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Penn State University, where he was the head of the Environmental Technology Group at the Applied research Laboratory. He has worked on various water development projects throughout the US as well as in Benin and Rwanda. He continues to work to document sustainable development in this one world.