Empowering Uganda’s ‘Road Barrier Widows’
In this blog we will delve into one of our newest projects, the inspiring journey of a registered community group in Uganda known as the ‘Road Barrier Widows’. Comprised of strong and determined women who have faced the challenges of widowhood, this group is embracing beekeeping to uplift their lives and their community. Read on to learn about the significance of registered community groups, the unique struggles faced by widows in Uganda, and how beekeeping will strengthen this group.
About the Road Barrier Women and the challenges they face
The ‘Road Barrier Widows’ is a group of 32 women who face several challenges that come with the loss of their husbands. Firstly, their income potential is significantly reduced, leaving them economically vulnerable. Secondly, traditional Ugandan households depend on the labour of both spouses both for childcare and to tend their smallholdings, and with the loss of their husbands, this crucial support is lost. Lastly, being a widow in Uganda carries a social stigma due to cultural beliefs and societal norms, which can further compound the challenges faced by these resilient women.
Understanding Registered Community Groups
Registered community groups (CBOs) are official organizations formed by individuals who share common goals and objectives. These groups, recognized by the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB), play a crucial role in community development. They bring together people with similar experiences or interests and provide a platform for collective action. By formalizing their organization, CBOs gain credibility, access to funding, legal recognition, and opportunities for collaboration with government agencies and NGOs. Knowing this, the Road Barrier Women formed their own CBO.
Empowering the Road Barrier Widows Through Beekeeping
Motivated to improve their circumstances, the ‘Road Barrier Widows’ have chosen beekeeping as one of their group activities, alongside keeping chickens and making handicrafts. The group is organised group and enterprising: they built their own top bar hives and have attempted to start beekeeping through self-teaching, but they need help to do it properly which is where Bees Abroad and our local partner, LIDEFO come in. We will support the group to learn how to keep bees properly, make quality honey which they can sell locally and fetches a much higher price than the other crops and items they produce.
The location of the group boasts an abundance of mango trees, ample forest tree cover, and a diverse range of flowering plants, providing abundant pollen and nectar. The women grow various crops in the area too, including coffee, and keeping bees will enhance pollination supporting crop production.
The ‘Road Barrier Widows’ embody the strength and resilience of Ugandan women, showcasing the power of unity and community support. By supporting community groups like the ‘Road Barrier Widows,’ we can empower individuals, communities and support inclusive development in Uganda.
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