This was the first Bees Abroad initiative in Cameroon, working with our Cameroonian partner, BERUDA, in North West Cameroon.
The BERUDA organisation continues to grow, and has a team of Cameroonian trainers who travel widely across Cameroon, addressing all aspects of beekeeping. BERUDA is a major purchaser of honey in the north-west region, and is recognised as a quality supplier by both commercial outlets and the government.
This project is based in the village of Belo, in North West Cameroon. The area is known for its cool climate and scenic hilly countryside. The BERUDA project was founded by Simon Ngwainmbi, a local man, with a vision for a brighter future for his community. BERUDA runs wide-ranging multi-faceted programmes targeting poverty alleviation among farming communities in the region. The organisation has been running for many years and their beekeeping programme is well established, with over 500 beekeepers in the area.
Bees Abroad became involved when a lack of cash flow prevented BERUDA from buying all the production from their own locally trained beekeepers – a major disincentive to those who anticipate being paid right away for their honey. Bees Abroad lent BERUDA funds to purchase more of the local production to enable local beekeepers to gain distant market access.
Links have been forged between BERUDA, Bees Abroad and FORUDEF, the local NGO involved in the Akwaya region of Cameroon. BERUDA is now supporting Bees Abroad and FORUDEF through skills training and networking. The aim is to build on the partnership so that Cameroonian trainers from BERUDA are employed to visit and train in other regions throughout the year – topped up by occasional visits from UK Bees Abroad volunteers.
In future, with support from Bees Abroad, beekeepers can be trained, honey production can continue to grow, and the impact will be felt by thousands of local people.