INTO Giving is funding a new Bees Abroad project in Nigeria, one of the World’s poorest countries, where 67% of the population live below the poverty line. The Multilateral Grammar School, based in the Odogbolu district. The kind donation of £4560 will cover the cost of materials, training and the establishment of an apiary and honey harvesting equipment.
Here 90% of the parents of the students in the school catchment area are farmers on very low incomes which in turn leads to poor nutrition, high mortality at all ages and inadequate access to healthcare and education.
This school is government run with a junior school which has 285 students in attendance and a senior school with 200 students.
Bees Abroad will help the school and the local community in the following ways:
Firstly, beekeeping will provide an income stream for the school to buy extra resources. Secondly, the students who are trained will be able to take their sustainable and ecological beekeeping skills into their community thus creating a second income which will help to pay their school fees and support their extended families.
Funds donated will enable the Bees Abroad to:
- Deliver beekeeping training to teachers and students
- Provide materials needed for hive construction and personal protection equipment,
- Provide instructional training materials and manuals,
- Establish an apiary and honey harvesting equipment.
Training will be given by Mr Oreyemi Babatunde Adenola who has worked with Bees Abroad since 2006 and has already successfully delivered 4 projects in the area. Teachers will teach students beekeeping as part of the curriculum aiming to produce a minimum of 10 new beekeepers every year going forward. This ensures a sustainable, environmentally friendly way of alleviating poverty.
The United Nations Staff 1% Development Fund has awarded a grant to a new beekeeping training centre at Zamfarawa in NW Nigeria. The UN 1% fund identifies community projects in developing countries with potential to become self-sustaining and keeps in touch with local contacts who supervise and monitor the development initiatives.
The new Beekeeping Extension Resource Centre will be an education centre for rural communities, school children, and students of Ahmadu Bello University and the Samaru College of Agriculture. There will be a range of literature and other information on beekeeping available, examples of hives, protective clothing and extraction equipment, and a projector and screen for presentations. 120 local community members, 60% of whom are women, have already registered their interest.
The Beekeeping Extension Society (BES) have managed and run a number of projects funded and supported by BeesAbroad. The existing capacity of the group, and the involvement of Idris Muhammad Barua, BES’ Project Director (and previous BeesAbroad trainer for projects in Cameroon and Liberia) was pivotal to securing UN funding as it proved that the funds would have long-term, sustainable outcomes.
BeesAbroad are very proud that our current and previous projects have contributed to this exciting step forward for beekeeping education for Nigeria.
When the chance arose to travel to Kenya and document the DIFD funded Bees abroad project, it was an opportunity too good to turn down. Landing in Nairobi on my birthday and leaving a young family behind in London, I wanted to maximise this opportunity to reflect to the best of my ability the impact beekeeping has on the lives of people benefiting from the Bees Abroad project in Kenya.
I was collected by the Executive project manager David Njuguna and our driver Jessie Maina and was taken to Nanyuki to the project headquarters. David is a very knowledgeable beekeeper and I was quickly acquainted to the cultural differences in bee keeping together with the social customs in Kenya (lots of praying at every opportunity). During my short stay we visited 7 groups and two schools, with most days starting early and finishing late, with hours spent on very dusty and often bumpy roads.
Our first stop was visiting a honey processing unit in Ruai. The centre had been refurbished with the support of Bees Abroad after being closed for many years. The centre was originally opened in 1978 by the Canadian High commission but eventually closed down as interest and knowledge about bees declined in the local area.
Since 2012, with the support of Bees Abroad, the centre which contains a honey refinery, a small meeting space and a couple of storage rooms has rejuvenated the beekeeping community in the area with up to 200 bee keepers benefiting from the centre. Group Chairman Josphet Kiriungi, declared his group have benefited greatly from the work of Bees Abroad as they received training in beekeeping and capacity building. The Ruai group have also been working closely with Bees Abroad’s Nanyuki based marketing officers.
Mary Ngari – Bees Abroad Marketing Officer in Kenya
Marketing the honey has been the biggest challenge for the Ruai group. They have formed a cooperative, registered with various government agencies and are certified by the Kenya Bureau of Standards to legally promote/sell their honey and other hive related by products to large supermarkets. Mary, a part time employee with Bees Abroad, feels her jobs has an immense impact on the Kenyan beekeepers as she tries to connect local bee keepers directly with shops and chain outlets, bypassing any middle parties. The marketing officers regularly have to conduct market research and surveys on honey and wax products as they provide support to a range of clients – from small groups in semi-arid villages to cooperatives in cities and towns. Mary claims her work has helped many famers to earn an extra income. She noted that the extra income has a massive impact on their families as they can eat better than before and also pay towards school fees for their children.
Apart from the honey yield, I noticed how groups try and maximise all the other by products they gather during their harvests. The group in Mukuri were very interesting – they physically showed me how they created a really popular cream from the beeswax in under 30 minutes.
Abdul Miah – 2016
Stuart Andrews and Roy Dyche will be visiting our project in Hoima, Uganda at the end of April, and you will be able to follow their work via Stuart’s photographic blog. Bookmark the page!
Stuart’s blog from Hoima
Below is a link to a previous report from this exciting project helping women’s groups living in a rural area of West Uganda.
Dave Bonner has recently been visiting our project in Mbale. He kept a blog to record activities whilst he was in-country. Please follow the link to read his story – and admire his practical construction classes.
John and Mary Home returned recently from projects in Kenya to relieve poverty through beekeeping. Whilst they were there, they kept a blog diary of their experiences. Please click here to read more.
Read Jo Hiscox’s blog to get a fascinating insight into how our project leaders support beekeepers, and see the impact beekeeping can make to low-income families. Jo, Brian Durk and Gill Johnson spent 2 months working on various projects in rural Cameroon. Follow this link to Jo’s Blog.