Since 2016, The Future of Hope has grown from a one-woman operation to a team of 16. “Our reach has grown to over 6,000 households,” says Govera. “As part of our addressing challenges in the Fungi-culture Inputs Supply Chain (FISC), we have set up the first one-stop shop for mushroom farmers in Zimbabwe to help all farmers access custom-packed inputs, saving them money and time.” Govera achieved her dream of establishi­ng a customised training centre in Zimbabwe, turning her own home into a training space for mushroom spawn production.

“At this place you will see a mini mushroom spawn production laboratory, mushroom production, drying and processing, an all-organic garden fertilised from biomass from mushroom farming and poultry as well as a rabbitry,” she explains. “In the past 8 years more than 300 people have been trained at this centre. It serves more as a model of how one can set up and self-sustain, achieving food, nutrition and income security and diversific­ation from a vibrant household farm even in the smallest of places.” The seven girls she fostered have all grown up, and most of them working. This year, Govera became a grandmothe­r for the first time. “It has been quite a learning journey for me. Being a mother or guardian of so many children has had its own fair share of challenges and lessons. I am grateful that I had the support of family and friends to share that responsibi­lity and that this network also today becomes family and friends to the girls.”

Govera is hoping to expand their work to other countries. “We are already working on Mozambique, but we want to be able to bring our work all around Southern Africa and beyond. I also recently married and will be spending my time between Zimbabwe and Belgium, therefore part of the plan is to build a mushroom farm at my new home in Belgium and continue my work from there.”

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