In the heart of Southwest Nigeria lies Ogun State, known as the “Gateway to Nigeria.” Named after the majestic Ogun River that runs across it, this region is home to Okun Owa School. Okun Owa School has a story to share about their journey into the world of beekeeping, a journey that’s enabling the school to achieve its aims and creating ripple effects beyond the boundaries of the school.
Nestled in a rural area of Ogun State, Okun Owa is an agricultural school with many of the students coming from local farming families on low incomes. Many in the community suffer from poor nutrition, high mortality rates and inadequate access to healthcare that cast a shadow over this community. In September 2017 Okun Owa School and Bees Abroad started working together to teach both pupils and teachers the art of beekeeping, honey production, and marketing hive products.
A total of 64 students and 2 teachers were trained in the art of beekeeping. It wasn’t just about bees; it was about building a brighter future. Like bees in a hive, this project buzzed with activity and brought multiple benefits to the school.
Since the introduction of beekeeping, Okun Owa School has seen remarkable changes in their agricultural yields. Crops like mangoes and pineapples have flourished, leading to increased income as the school sells these fruits. But that’s not all. The hives, honey, and value-added beeswax products have created a new revenue stream for the school. Thanks to this newfound income, the school was able to purchase a water storage tank – a vital resource that makes a big difference to the daily lives of students and staff.
One of the most inspiring stories to emerge from this project is that of Mrs. Osibanjo, the vice principal of the junior school. When she assumed her position, Bees Abroad was already working with the school and her predecessor, Mr. Ajayi. Mrs. Osibanjo was determined to learn all she could about beekeeping, asking Mr. Ajayi countless questions.
Her interest increased after watching how beeswax cream was made and learning about propolis. She even took a honeycomb home to show her family and friends, sparking their interest in the world of bees. Previously sceptical about buying honey from hawkers due to concerns about fake products, Mrs. Osibanjo now confidently purchases honey harvested by the school.
The story of Okun Owa School serves as a powerful reminder that even small initiatives can lead to significant transformations. Individuals within the school community have embraced beekeeping at home, creating a ripple effect of positive change. In our next blog post about Okun Owa School, we’ll introduce you to Paul Lawrence, a student who began his beekeeping journey at the primary school and is now thriving in the secondary school.
Bees Abroad can only work with communities like Okun Owa school with the help of our supporters. Will you “Bee Part of The Story”?
This blog is part of Remember a Charity campaign week. Through the Remember a Charity campaign week, we will celebrate the impact made by our small but mighty initiatives and those who have supported us.
We’re spreading the small but mighty message. You don’t have to be a millionaire to leave a legacy through your Will. Help us spread the buzz about legacy giving and show the world that we can all be ‘Willantropists’ – creating a legacy that truly matters, no matter the size.