Mbarouk Mussa Omar - Executive Director, CFP

by Community Forests International on January 9, 2014

From managing our sister organization, Community Forests Pemba (CFP),  to countless hours consulting with communities, Mbarouk is the driving force behind the islands continued transformation.


Q: When you first met Jeff, who you founded CFI with, what did you think?

Jeff seemed like someone I could connect to. He seemed like an equal, someone I could approach and talk to.  I felt that he was a true human being, just like myself.


Q: How has your relationship changed over the years?

It has changed each and every day. We are always becoming closer. Jeff started as a friend but now he is truly a part of my family. When he comes to Pemba he stays with me in my house. We eat meals together, relax but we also work each and every day for Pemban communities. We are always exchanging ideas, thinking up new projects or facing challenges together.


Q: How has CFI changed your life?

CFI supported me to learn and grow as a person – improving my knowledge and skills. It has made me confident in how I live and work. Since working with CFI I have become a true leader on my island, transforming both Pemban communities and the world. This work is all I do – it hasn’t just changed my life, it is my life!


Q: What inspires you to work as hard as you do?

I have seen how quickly my island has changed, how quickly the natural world has been destroyed. I want to restore the natural environment – I want to return things to the way they were, making my island more resilient in the process. I am always working to improve my island by planting trees and restoring wildlife habitats. Each year the rainy season has been getting shorter and shorter - I want to see the rains return to my land. I am always thinking about the life of the people here and I want to do what I can to fight poverty and disease.


Q: What are your dreams for Pemba?

One day I would like to see everyone everywhere, even beyond Pemba, taking action against climate change. I want to see people working each and everyday to make the change we all need.

We have learned so much from you Mbarouk. Thank you for taking us into your heart and home. Your tireless efforts to improve your community and your passion for the environment and the people who depend on it continues to inspire us all. Asante Sana Mbarouk!

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