Official Opening of the Dov Institute December 13th, 2022

On my 9th trip to Niger, on Tuesday, December 13th, 2022, we officially opened the Dov Institute, our new Training Centre for Horticultural Technicians along with our partner, John Craig, from Eliminate Poverty Now.  The Minister of Higher Education, Minister Djibo, officially opened the Institute, cut the ribbon, and gave his approval to open our doors for students, which we will do hopefully in the Fall of 2023.  Accompanying the Minster were the Minister of Agriculture and the former Prime Minister Danda.   Many of our long-time supporters from Niger were present as well.  It was a momentous occasion, the realization of Professor Dov’s dream to help producers achieve agricultural prosperity.  It will be a two-year BTS degree, the first of its kind in horticulture in the country.  Once trained and graduated, these students will have the ability to teach rural producers how to earn income from horticulture, and also potentially start their own entrepreneurial enterprises in agriculture.


Robin and Minister Djibo cut the ribbon John Speaks Minister of Education speaks


John spoke on our behalf with the following words:

“On behalf of Robin Mednick, president of ONG Pencils for Kids and myself at Eliminate Poverty NOW, thank you for being here.

Everything that Hamani just described comes from the vision of one extraordinary man – Professor Dov Pasternak.  Dov was unique.  He was a world-class agricultural scientist with a great mind for business, a flair for marketing, and a huge humanitarian heart.  In the last 20 years of his life, Dov fell in love with the country of Niger – and most especially with its people.

Dov had a dream.  He believed with all his heart that agriculture could be a source of major economic growth in Niger, even with all its environmental challenges.  And as a leader in Israel’s miracle of making the desert bloom, Dov knew what he was talking about.  He knew that agriculture could become the path out of poverty for millions of Nigeriennes.

Dov was inspirational, and his passion inspired all of us who had the privilege to work with him and are now creating the Dov Institute.  One of his favorite sayings was to “Never, ever give up!”  Our promise to Dov, to all of you here, and to the people of Niger is that we will never, ever give up until we make his dream a reality.

Thank you.”

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