Richard Stephano Mngulu
Local Community Project Manager
Originally from Uchessi, a Mozambican village 8 hours walk along the lakeshore from Nkwichi Lodge, Richard has spent his childhood in Malawi due to the brutal civil war in Mozambique. He returned in 2005 hoping to raise his family in his birth land. In 2010 Richard joined the Guest Management team in Nkwichi Lodge where he constantly impressed everybody with his wisdom, endless energy and friendly approach.
Since 2013, Richard is very proud to work as the Local Community Project Manager for the Manda Wilderness Community Trust, and pouring his efforts to the sustainable development of the beautiful Manda Wilderness area.
Richard excels in communicating effectively with local communities, elders and village chiefs; fluent in English, Chinyanja and Chichewa language and currently developing computer skills. He is a well trained carpenter, a fantastic choir master and respected teacher. Some of his hobbies are singing, listening to music, playing football, playing games like Bawo, working on his gardens and most of all spending time with his family and friends.
Community Project Manager
Originally from Bogota, Colombia, Juliana was brought up in Indonesia, Scotland, the United States, Argentina and Venezuela. After graduating from a high school in Caracas in 2001, she received a scholarship to attend Macalester College, Minnesota, where she studied biology with an emphasis in ecology, while indulging her interest for education and literature.
In 2006 she moved to Ethiopia for a year. Upon her return to Colombia, Juliana worked in the public environment sector undertaking both technical and social responsibilities -first in the Ministry of the Environment and later in a regional branch-, and in the education sector teaching and in research.
In 2013 Juliana obtained a graduate degree in Local and Regional Development from Universidad de Los Andes. Joyful to return to this magical continent and, as D.C. De Waal once said about Mashonaland, "desiring a slice of it", as well as eager to give Mozambique a slice of her, she joined the Manda Wilderness Community Trust team in February 2015.
João Bernado Manyamba
Farm Manager, Agricultural Training Specialist and Farmer
Visitors to the agricultural project know João affectionately as John. It is hard to miss his warm greetings, broad smile and his contagious laugh. He is by title the farm manager and by practice the team's active motivator. He is always keen to learn new agricultural techniques and equally eager to pass on his own knowledge to others. He has been working at the project for four years now and comes from Litanda village, a beautiful community in the heart of the Manda Wilderness region.
He is passionate about teaching and wins all the children's hearts over during farm days, monthly days of agricultural education, games,song and dance with local schools. In his spare time he trains the farm dogs to chase off baboons, discouraging them from stealing papayas and other tasty fruit.
"The main ways to improve the farm are to be strong, work hard and try to follow the systems of permaculture!"
Hilda Vicente Kang'oma
Agricultural Training Specialist and Farmer
Hilda is the most experienced member of the team. She has been composting, sewing seeds, mulching and plucking insects from rocket leaves for eight years now. She lives in a house behind a hedge of papaya trees and lemon grass bushes on the farm site.
Originally she comes from Mbueca village and likes to gives agricultural training to visitorsat the farm. She cares greatly for the development of the project and points out the health benefits that can be gained from diversifying the crops that are grown at home.
"I like lettuce, rocket, chinese cabbage, spinach and mustard leaves. They are my favourite green leaves because they provide good healthy nutrition."
Tomão Benjamin Chalemba
Agricultural Training Specialist, Farmer and Guest Guide
Thomas comes from Mandambuzi village, a three hour hike south of the farm, over the beautiful mountain pass. Thomas likes to work together with the team at the agricultural project where he has been involved for nearly three years. He works hard to take care of all of the vegetables and you never see him without a banana sized smile across his face. He enjoys giving training to groups of school children from the 16 villages that come to visit the farm for agricultural training.
"I like lettuce, coriander, basil, dill, cabbage and rocket. These are my favourite vegetables!"
Farmer and Fruit Specialist
Maria has been working at the farm for two years. She now uses her knowledge of permaculture and alternative farming principles to look after the vegetables, fruit trees and compost at the farm. Maria comes from Mbueca Village and her favourite vegetable is lettuce.
She is careful to spot the lettuce leaves wilting in the morning and gives them a drink of water pumped up from the nearby fresh water lake. She is a hard worker and makes a delicious pot of lemon grass tea every day for the ten o'clock tea break.
"My idea is to work hard during work time!"
Jaime Manuel Luis Mchema
Master Paper Maker, Guest Guide and Clay Oven Artisan
Jaime has a hand in many of the projects on the farm, quite literally. He uses recycled newspaper and a local fibrous leaf to make gift cards that are sold to raise money for farm equipment. He collects local soil to make clay ovens. The ovens help with health and environmental sustainability by reducing smoke inhalation and require less firewood.
He has been at the farm since 2010 and cares about its sustainability. His favorite vegetables are those that the local market buys so that the farm can plant and harvest more produce.
"I like lettuce, basil, coriander, rocket and parsley. I like these leaves because they are very important to guests at Nkwichi Lodge."