When you look back through history, you’ll find many great women who fought for some cause.

Cleopatra, Marie Curie, Rosa Parks, Princess Diana, Mother Teresa, Catherine the Great and all other great women have one thing in common. To change the world for the better!

But the greatness doesn’t mean that you literally have to change the world, although it would be very useful. It means that the greatness is within all of us, no matter how big or small steps you choose to take. It requires the same emotion and spirit whether you’re helping thousands or millions or taking care of your own family. The core idea is to change the lives of others for the better.

When I first met Chido Govera, she looked like a scared child to me. She stared at me with her big, clever eyes full of great expectations for the better future.  At that time, I was doing projects in Zimbabwe about the implementation of mushroom farming technologies in undeveloped areas of the country, and with a certain number of fortunate circumstances, I had found myself teaching this young lady how to grow mushrooms from local agricultural waste. This was 20 years ago. Today, Chido Govera is teaching orphans and widows in Zimbabwe how to grow mushrooms and create a sustainable future for their societies.

Chido is a Shona name that means passion. She grew up as an orphan too, and turned into a parent at the age of 7, mothering her brother and caring for her nearly blind grandmother.

At the age of 8, she had already experienced the worst possible abuse, inflicted by close family. She promised herself then that when she was older, she would save and protect other orphans from experiencing what she, and so many others, had suffered.

You should listen to her story…

Chido reached out to over 1,000 women in communities in Zimbabwe, Congo, Ghana, Cameroon, Tanzania and South Africa. Her work has reached schools and communities in India, aboriginals in Australia, and entrepreneurs in the US and around Europe.

“We are not victims. We are endowed with so much potential provided we learn the tools and are exposed to the best examples” says Chido.

This refusal to be a victim despite the prevailing circumstances is Chido’s biggest strength, but it’s something much more valuable too. It’s a lesson for all of us that it is possible!

Over the years we became friends and Chido is coming to Belgrade regularly. I always felt protective of her. Keeping some of my darkest fears for her unsaid, I encourage her to overcome any issues that she might experience. But when I look deep into our relationship, I see that she is the one who’s actually inspiring me, and she still does that with her big clever eyes and sincere smile on her face. Without any hatred or bitterness for her horrible experiences from the past, she shines out the beauty of being alive and being able to do something good for others.

Ivanka Milenkovic and Chido Govera

When you feel this kind of strength and will to go further no matter how difficult it might be, it pushes you too to move a mountain or two.

Last year, I decided to take a portion of the profit of every Ekofungi product sold and give it to Chido’s The Future of Hope Foundation. It’s the least I can do for my friend. If you have your Chido (Passion), maybe you should do it too. Find the way to embrace, cherish and support your Chido!

From the bottom of YOUR heart,

Ivanka