Elizabeti’s story

Elizabeti’s story

December 3, 2023


Rachel Monger, Country Manager for Tanzania, shared a first-person account from Elizabeti*, mother to a young child with albinism.

Trigger warning: the write-up below contains events that some may find upsetting.

*not her real name

Elizabeti's story


Rachel Monger, Country Manager for Tanzania, shared a first-person account from Elizabeti, mother to a young child with albinism.

Elizabeti, based in northern Tanzania, was eighteen and 5 months pregnant with her first child when her husband died. Grieving, she went back to her family and in time gave birth to her child, a child with albinism. She named him Baraka, which means “blessing” but she was immediately cut off from her late husband’s family; shunned and shamed, she was seen as a curse.

Later, a man approached Elizabeti and her family, asking to marry her. The family was initially delighted at this unexpected turn of events. But before the marriage took place, Elizabeti was approached secretively by a friend of the man, who warned her that the future husband had dark intentions to kill her child in order to sell his body parts for witchcraft.

Elizabeti broke off the engagement with the man, but after escaping intruders in her home one night, she knew the life of her child was in danger, and her own life as well. Warned by a friend of imminent danger a week later, she fled in the darkness, running with her baby boy for his life. She ended up in Mwanza, where she found the support of Under the Same Sun. She received a sewing machine and was looking to support herself and her child by sewing clothes when she joined the Upendo wa Mama (“Mother’s Love”) group.

Now, nine years later, Elizabeti is happily married with more beautiful children. She has trained and excelled in her sewing skills and is valued member of the albinism women’s group, making beeswax products to sell. She takes the handmade batiks that the women make and turns them into aprons, cushion covers and cloth napkins. During COVID, she sewed an uncountable number of colourful batik face masks!

And now, with support from Bees Abroad, as the women start their own honey and beeswax social enterprise as a national NGO, rebranding themselves as “Mama Hive,” Elizabeti is boldly taking a step not many women in Tanzania have taken … onto a motorbike! She has spent the last few months with MJ Piki (“Mwanamke Jasiri ya PikiPiki” or “Brave women on motorcycles”) learning how to drive and maintain a motorbike. She is about to start her training on a 3-wheeler, in order to become the official driver for the Mama Hive Bajaji.

This exciting new project is going to convert a normal Tanzanian bajaj (3-wheeler used for transporting goods) into a trendy mobile shop which the women will take around the city to sell honey and beeswax products.

From the desperate terror of running for her life with her baby boy, Elizabeti is now a brave advocate for women and children with albinism. She has overcome persecution, adversity and stigma; gone from being homeless, alone and destitute to being part of social enterprise earning her own income, to show that truly this beeswax artisan can!

Elizabeth's story


Rachel Monger, Country Manager for Tanzania, shared a first-person account from Elizabeti, mother to a young child with albinism.

Elizabeti, based in northern Tanzania, was eighteen and 5 months pregnant with her first child when her husband died. Grieving, she went back to her family and in time gave birth to her child, a child with albinism. She named him Baraka, which means “blessing” but she was immediately cut off from her late husband’s family; shunned and shamed, she was seen as a curse and the cause of her husband’s death.

Later, a man approached Elizabeti and her family, asking to marry her. The family was initially delighted at this unexpected turn of events. But before the marriage took place, Elizabeti was approached secretively by a friend of the man, who warned her that the future husband had dark intentions to kill her child in order to sell his body parts for witchcraft.

Elizabeti broke off the engagement with the man, but after being attacked but escaping intruders in her home one night, she knew the life of her child was in danger, and her own life at risk as well. Warned of imminent danger one night a week later by a friend, she fled in the darkness, running with her baby boy for his life. She ended up in Mwanza, where she found the support of Under the Same Sun. She received a sewing machine and was looking to support herself and her child by sewing clothes when she joined the Upendo wa Mama (“Mother’s Love”) group.

Now, nine years later, Elizabeti is happily married with more beautiful children. She has trained and excelled in her sewing skills and is valued member of the albinism women’s group, making beeswax products to sell. She takes the handmade batiks that the women make and turns them into aprons, cushion covers and cloth napkins. During COVID, she sewed an uncountable number of colourful batik face masks!

And now, with support from Bees Abroad, as the women start their own honey and beeswax social enterprise as a national NGO, rebranding themselves as “Mama Hive,” Elizabeti is boldly taking a step not many women in Tanzania have taken … onto a motorbike! She has spent the last few months with MJ Piki (“Mwanamke Jasiri ya PikiPiki” or “Brave women on motorcycles”) learning how to drive and maintain a motorbike. She is about to start her training on a 3-wheeler, in order to become the official driver for the Mama Hive Bajaji.

This exciting new project is going to convert a normal Tanzanian bajaj (3-wheeler used for transporting goods) into a trendy mobile shop which the women will take around the city to sell honey and beeswax products.

From the desperate terror of running for her life with her baby boy, Elizabeti is now a brave advocate for women and children with albinism. She has overcome persecution, adversity and stigma; gone from being homeless, alone and destitute to being part of social enterprise earning her own income, to show that truly this beeswax artisan can!

The Big Give, a Big Thank You

Our work is only possible with your support.
Support bees wax entrepreneurs like Elizabeti.

From all donations will be doubled until Tuesday the 5th December – one donation, double the impact.  

We can’t do what we do without your support, so thank you!   

Elizabeth's story

Rachel Monger, Country Manager for Tanzania, shared a first-person account from Elizabeti*, mother to a young child with albinism. Trigger warning: the write-up below contains events that some may find upsetting.

*not her real name

Elizabeti, based in northern Tanzania, was eighteen and 5 months pregnant with her first child when her husband died. Grieving, she went back to her family and in time gave birth to her child, a child with albinism. She named him Baraka, which means “blessing” but she was immediately cut off from her late husband’s family; shunned and shamed, she was seen as a curse and the cause of her husband’s death.

Later, a man approached Elizabeti and her family, asking to marry her. The family was initially delighted at this unexpected turn of events. But before the marriage took place, Elizabeti was approached secretively by a friend of the man, who warned her that the future husband had dark intentions to kill her child in order to sell his body parts for witchcraft.

Elizabeti broke off the engagement with the man, but after being attacked but escaping intruders in her home one night, she knew the life of her child was in danger, and her own life at risk as well. Warned of imminent danger one night a week later by a friend, she fled in the darkness, running with her baby boy for his life. She ended up in Mwanza, where she found the support of Under the Same Sun. She received a sewing machine and was looking to support herself and her child by sewing clothes when she joined the Upendo wa Mama (“Mother’s Love”) group.

Now, nine years later, Elizabeti is happily married with more beautiful children. She has trained and excelled in her sewing skills and is valued member of the albinism women’s group, making beeswax products to sell. She takes the handmade batiks that the women make and turns them into aprons, cushion covers and cloth napkins. During COVID, she sewed an uncountable number of colourful batik face masks!

And now, with support from Bees Abroad, as the women start their own honey and beeswax social enterprise as a national NGO, rebranding themselves as “Mama Hive,” Elizabeti is boldly taking a step not many women in Tanzania have taken … onto a motorbike! She has spent the last few months with MJ Piki (“Mwanamke Jasiri ya PikiPiki” or “Brave women on motorcycles”) learning how to drive and maintain a motorbike. She is about to start her training on a 3-wheeler, in order to become the official driver for the Mama Hive Bajaji.

This exciting new project is going to convert a normal Tanzanian bajaj (3-wheeler used for transporting goods) into a trendy mobile shop which the women will take around the city to sell honey and beeswax products.

From the desperate terror of running for her life with her baby boy, Elizabeti is now a brave advocate for women and children with albinism. She has overcome persecution, adversity and stigma; gone from being homeless, alone and destitute to being part of social enterprise earning her own income, to show that truly this beeswax artisan can!

Now, nine years later, Elizabeti is happily married with more beautiful children. She has trained and excelled in her sewing skills and is valued member of the albinism women’s group, making beeswax products to sell. She takes the handmade batiks that the women make and turns them into aprons, cushion covers and cloth napkins. During COVID, she sewed an uncountable number of colourful batik face masks!

And now, with support from Bees Abroad, as the women start their own honey and beeswax social enterprise as a national NGO, rebranding themselves as “Mama Hive,” Elizabeti is boldly taking a step not many women in Tanzania have taken … onto a motorbike! She has spent the last few months with MJ Piki (“Mwanamke Jasiri ya PikiPiki” or “Brave women on motorcycles”) learning how to drive and maintain a motorbike. She is about to start her training on a 3-wheeler, in order to become the official driver for the Mama Hive Bajaji.

This exciting new project is going to convert a normal Tanzanian bajaj (3-wheeler used for transporting goods) into a trendy mobile shop which the women will take around the city to sell honey and beeswax products.

From the desperate terror of running for her life with her baby boy, Elizabeti is now a brave advocate for women and children with albinism. She has overcome persecution, adversity and stigma; gone from being homeless, alone and destitute to being part of social enterprise earning her own income, to show that truly this beeswax artisan can!

Ambassadors of Hope

Ambassadors of Hope

December 1, 2023

In the last blog, Rachel Monger, Country Manager for Tanzania, shared some first-person accounts from women with albinism and why having albinism has historically led to marginalisation and other challenges in Tanzania. In this blog, we delve into the partnership between Bees Abroad and the women of Under The Same Sun and how bees wax is helping transform lives.

Bees wax: from waste to premium product

The women of Under The Same Sun were looking for a way to generate a livelihood for themselves. The perfect came with the introduction of a beekeeping project in nearby villages with the charity, Emmanuel International (Bees Abroad local partner). These new rural beekeepers had no idea that beeswax had value and were discarding it in the bush.

“But there is no market for wax!” they said. And so, we created the market. The Upendo wa Mama group agreed to buy the wax from the beekeepers. They also bought from other beekeepers in the area. They learned how to make basic balms and candles to sell. With the provision of a workshop space from Standing Voice, the business grew. By 2019, they were making beautiful Kitenge Bees Wraps, a wide variety of balms and soaps, polish, Nyuki Stix, batiks and all kinds of candles. Together with support from Under the Same Sun, they opened a shop, The Hive and established markets with tourists and ‘expats’ across the country. They started buying honey from the new beekeeping groups and labelling and bottling it for sale locally.

A fly-wheel effect of positive change

There have been many struggles and challenges, but the strength and resilience of these women is inspirational. As well as their group work, making and selling beeswax products, they have been able to put the skills and confidence they have gained through being part of the group to amazing benefit at home.

Two of them had never been to school and could not read or write. They have been able to have literacy training and are working hard to gain and improve these life-changing skills. Two have been for computer-literacy training to develop skills, two have been for intensive tailoring classes. One who suffered serious mental health issues from the trauma she experienced is now producing and selling her own product; another has started a pig project and another is making and selling soaps and lotion.

Ambassadors of hope

The change in these women is clearly evident; they can hold their heads high and be proud of who they are and what they can do. They are beginning to push boundaries and challenge opinion on the possibilities open to people with albinism.

The women have spoken to young people with albinism about the importance of love and family (something that young people with albinism doubted could ever be possible for them). They have been involved in community seminars for women in Mwanza, aimed at encouraging support groups and entrepreneurship for people in similar situations.

Four women of The Hive, Tanzania standing outside. Two of them have Albinism. They are all holding wheels of bees wax

A blossoming social enterprise

Bees Abroad has now just joined their journey and there are exciting things ahead! With support from Bees Abroad and BMCC, a local church, last month they registered “Mama Hive,” their own national NGO, a honey and beeswax social enterprise. With a managing director and sales and marketing manager, they are looking to launch to a new level of business and become a means of training and support for other marginalised women and girls.

The goal is for Mama Hive to be influential in promoting change in society’s understanding of albinism and to empower ambassadors for others whose human rights have been abused or potential not realised.

Watch this space as we share more about the exciting things happening with this project and more about the amazing women involved!

The Big Give, a Big Thank You

Our work is only possible with your support.
Support groups like Upendo wa Mama (“Mother’s Love”).

From Tuesday, the 28th November for one week all donations will be doubled – one donation, double the impact.  

We can’t do what we do without your support, so thank you!   

Four women of The Hive, Tanzania standing outside. Two of them have Albinism. They are all holding wheels of bees wax

Crimes of Colour, a Ray of Hope

Crimes of Colour, a Ray of Hope

November 29, 2023

Rachel Monger, Partnership Manager for Tanzania, shares first-person accounts from women with albinism and why having albinism can lead to marginalisation and persecution in Tanzania.

Trigger warning: the write-up below contains events that some may find upsetting

Crimes of Colour

It was on August 14, 2014, when Munghu, a 35 year old woman with albinism, was attacked in Tanzania. Her left arm was hacked off below the elbow, her right arm mutilated, and she was left to bleed to death. Her husband (without albinism) was killed as he tried to defend his wife and their two children. Just nine days earlier Pendo, a 15-year-old girl had been attacked. Her attackers ran off into the night with her right hand, hacked off below the elbow with a machete.

These were terrifying times for people with albinism. “White and Black: Crimes of Colour,” a documentary produced in collaboration with Under the Same Sun, revealed to the rest of the world what was happening. It followed the undercover work of Vicky Ntetema, (a Tanzanian journalist and later recipient of the International Women of Courage Award) examining the superstitions and fears surrounding albinism in Tanzania and the brutal consequences of these prejudices and the witchdoctors who prey on people with albinism for profit.

White & Black: Crimes of Colour. A documentary directed by Jean-François Méan

About Albinism in Tanzania

Albinism is a genetic skin disorder that results in the lack of production of melanin in the skin, hair and eyes, resulting in light or no colour. People with albinism are visually impaired and they are dangerously susceptible to skin cancer, often leading to early death. But more horrific is the stigma attached to this condition in Tanzania. People have called them “ghosts” considering them inhuman. Their body parts, which can be sold for a great deal of money, have been sought after for witchcraft potions to bring fortune and good luck. And tragically it is the children who are the most vulnerable to kidnapping, mutilation and murder.

A woman who gives birth to a child with albinism will often be considered a curse on the family or village and cut off, mistreated or sent away homeless, ostracised from community with her child at constant risk of being attacked or killed.

Under the Same Sun – a ray of hope

In Mwanza, Tanzania, a small group of women were brought together by Ester Rwela, an incredible ambassador for people with albinism, working at the time with Under the Same Sun.

These women were just some of the many mamas who were walking the difficult and painful journey of albinism in Tanzania. Mamas whose young children had been brutally murdered or attacked. Mamas who were cursed and shunned by their family or village for giving birth to a child with albinism. Mamas whose own husbands had played a role in horrific attacks. Mamas who had given birth only to have their husband leave them alone and unsupported, to find a wife who “not cursed” to bear his children. Mamas who had every shred of security, confidence and love stripped from them.

Ester introduced me to these precious women who had been told in every possible way, “you can’t…” This was the beginning of my journey with Upendo wa Mama, which means “Mother’s Love”, Rachel shares. 

Upendo wa Mama - “Mother’s Love”

The Upendo wa Mama group came together to support one another in the pain of all they were going through. Two had albinism and the others had children with albinism. They had all lost so much. They also needed income to survive, and we worked together to find ways to generate income. Over the past 8 years I have been immensely privileged to journey with these women. Together we have laughed and cried; we have struggled, and we have celebrated and each one of us has learned and grown in different ways. Here is a little of the story that takes us to Mama Hive and Bees Abroad today…

Join us in the next blog to find out how Bees Abroad and the women of Under The Same Sun are collaborating.

The Big Give, a Big Thank You

Our work is only possible with your support.
Support groups like Upendo wa Mama (“Mother’s Love”).

From the 28th November to the 5th of December, all donations will be doubled – one donation, double the impact.  

We can’t do what we do without your support, so thank you!   

The unstoppable women beekeepers in Nigeria

The unstoppable women beekeepers in Nigeria

November 20, 2023

Gender equality in Nigeria

Nigeria’s progress on gender equality is a mixed bag, in some areas Nigeria is a top performer, such as legal frameworks that promote, enforce and monitor gender equality. However, overall Nigeria has a low ranking in gender equality placing 139 out of 156 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Index. 

What does this mean for the reality of being a woman in Nigeria? Though there are success stories such as the recent election of Bolanle Ajayi as the deputy speaker of the Ogun State House of Assembly, finding quality work to make a sustainable living is more of a challenge for women. 

Self-organizing for Success

Amidst these challenges, the Ori-eru (Iwo) progressive beekeepers have emerged as a beacon of hope. This group of Muslim women, facing the difficulties of securing employment, decided to take matters into their own hands. United by a mission of self-reliance and mutual support, they embraced beekeeping as a means to empower themselves economically.

Diversifying Skills and Building Resilience
The group, with diverse skills ranging from farming to tailoring, identified beekeeping as a valuable addition. A former Bees Abroad trainee sensitised the group to beekeeping. The Ori-eru beekeepers have not only sustained their enterprise but expanded it significantly from an initial 5 hives to 43 hives.

Entrepreneurial Collaboration
A key aspect of their success lies in a collaborative approach to production and sales. While each member tends to a specific number of hives, the women work together to produce high-quality bee products under a single label. The profits are then reinvested or distributed among the group, fostering sustainable growth.

Burned hives, fire in the belly

In 2023, tragedy struck when their apiary was raided and hives destroyed by fire, reflecting the broader economic challenges in Nigeria. Undeterred, the Ori-eru beekeepers responded with determination.

They recognised the need to solve this problem quickly; essentially to replace hives in time to attract local swarms to restock hives. If they could rebuild and relocate their apiary by the start of the local swarming season, they stood a good chance of harvesting sufficient honey to recover lost income.

The group took this setback in their stride… They salvaged what they could and set to work devising a solution. However, their assessment was they only had sufficient reserves to replace 10 hives – an insufficient number to generate an adequate level of income for the group. They reached out to Bees Abroad, presenting a video outlining their situation and needs. 

Innovative Solutions and Rapid Recovery

Bees Abroad swiftly responded by funding 25 replacement hives. The Ori-eru beekeepers, showcasing resilience and innovation, built and sited these hives in record time. The new location is secluded and un-disclosed. For good measure the group also reinforced the hives with chains and padlocks. As of November 7th, 8 out of the 25 Bees Abroad sponsored hives are colonised.

This is a significant high rate of colonisation, which reflect the fact that the group made a great choice in beekeeping as an activity for income generation. In their area, bees are like flies! The group continue to monitor, clean, re-bait and invite bees to occupy empty hives.

 

Update: 5 months later

Five months after we replaced the hives and three months after we first shared this story we had a message from one of the group  leaders, Mr. Akanni:

Good day! This is from ORI ERU PROGRESSIVE BEEKEEPERS, We harvest honey from the hives that was replaced last year October, 2023 by Bees Abroad at our apiary. We make the harvest on 27, February. 2024 This is so wonderful, after the process, we have 15 litres of honey. In which the women are so happy and grateful to the Bees Abroad.

May God bless Bees Abroad

Mr. Akanni

 

Ori Eru progressive beekeepers February 2024

Dr. Sakina’s Journey: From Childhood Arm Amputation to Beekeeping Leader

Dr. Sakina’s Journey: From Childhood Arm Amputation to Beekeeping Leader

November 4, 2023

Disability in Nigeria

Dr Sakina is a remarkable woman with a remarkable story to tell. This is a story not just about personal achievements in the face of adversity but of also of building a supportive community for people who are otherwise marginalised.  

In Nigeria, having any kind of disability can mean the odds are seriously stacked against you, culturally (‘take your bad luck and go’), economically (‘you can’t contribute anything’) and spiritually (beliefs that God does not give you more than you can bear). Dr Sakina lost her left arm when she was a child and was faced with overcoming all the cultural stereotypes that threatened to impact her future.

Dr Sakina’s journey from academic to beekeeping leader

Dr Sakina determinedly pursued her academic interests, leading her to complete a post graduate master’s degree, then a PhD in medicinal insects. From her studies she developed an interest in beekeeping and started looking for local beekeepers to learn more about bees. What she learnt captivated Sakina and she became a beekeeper herself, starting with traditional beekeeping from local beekeepers. Sakina’s thirst for knowledge left her wanting to learn more, she jumped at the chance to learn about modern beekeeping with Bees Abroad. 

 Dr Sakina saw a need to help other women who shared her struggles with disability and the stigma of being divorced. In Nigeria, and many other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, being divorced or widowed brings stigma that compounds the challenge of going from a dual-income family to a single-income family. Family relationships and support networks can also be seriously negatively impacted. 

Women Agricultural Development Forum and Bees Abroad joining forces

Driven by her desire to help others who face similar challenges, Dr Sakina founded Women Agricultural Development Forum (WADF) in 2018. Bees Abroad started working with WADF in April 2020. Initially, 24 beekeepers were trained, with another 40 trained in 2021.  

 Unlike Dr Sakina who’s an accomplished academic, many of the women in WADF are illiterate. For these women, who are already marginalised, and with little formal education, earning a living is an extremely hard task. The WADF has been a lifeline and beekeeping is the only source of income for many members of the group.  

What’s next for Dr Sakina

Dr Sakina has leveraged the relationship with Bees Abroad to grow her NGO to reach more and more women and she has ambitions to grow it further. Lots of women approach the group and ask for support and training. The demand for beekeeping knowledge is growing. Dr Sakina wants to package more honey (suitable containers can be hard to come by) and make other products such as bees wax based creams.

She herself has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge on beekeeping, she aims to deepen her knowledge alongside her studies on pests and diseases that affect bees. This Bees Abroad project is in its final year, but there’s always more that can be done. Dr Sakina’s story is the perfect proof that ‘This Beekeeper Can’.  

This Beekeeper Can

If you want to support beekeepers and groups like Dr Sakina and WADF we have a great opportunity for you! From the 28th November – 5th December all donations will be doubled – one donation, double the impact. We can’t do what we do without your support, so thank you!  

 This story is part of a series of stories we will be sharing over the next month as we celebrate the campaign ‘This Beekeeper Can’. Stay tuned to hear more stories, join our events or enter our prize draw.  

Empowering Uganda’s ‘Road Barrier Widows’

Empowering Uganda’s ‘Road Barrier Widows’

June 28, 2023

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.

Group of Women from Uganda
Uganda Valley

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. 

Follow along and join in with your own beeswax stories in the comments on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Behold the Beekeeping for Life Woman from Nigeria!

Behold the Beekeepers for Life Woman from Nigeria!

February 24 2023

Slow Food International and Bees Abroad UK are duos of which the Promotion of good, clean and fair food (honey) can be attained through Social Entrepreneurship option.

Mrs Afuape Fadilat joined the Capacity Building Training Workshop Support from Bees Abroad UK in 2020 at Abotokio Slow Food Beekeeping Community Abotokio, Nigeria. She quickly became a renown Slow Honey Packer, Beekeeping for Life, developing her business through soft loans and profits made from honey sold.

Today, she is being patronised by hundreds of customers in her local environment for maintaining natural honey quality. A honey of natural traits without any additives or adulteration!

Mrs Afuape is now the Spokesperson to Beekeeping for Life Women Slow Food Garden Community, Ilaro, Yewa South, Ogun State, South-West, Nigeria!

"I am committed to promote good, clean and fair enough honey by religiously following the Slow Food Beekeeping Philosophy" - Mrs Afuape

A Personal Introduction by Mrs Afuape

My name is Mrs Afuape Fadilat Abosede; a Nigerian local Honey Packer and marketer. My skills were greatly developed through the Bees Abroad UK’s Beekeeping Capacity Building Training Workshop support at Abotokio Slow Food Beekeeping Community Abotokio, Nigeria in 2020.

Through the training, I was motivated by the books by Pam Gregory’s manuals on Beekeeping and the encouragements from Messers Asade and Oreyemi Babatunde.

Later, I developed the interest for honey packaging and marketing with the notion of promoting good, clean and fair honey mostly, in my local environment. My efforts were recognised by Bees Abroad Trustees and I was nominated as one of the African Women to be part of the Beekeepers for Life Women Initiative in 2021.

In 2022, I had the opportunity to participate in the Promotion and Development of Horticulture (Vegetable Value Chain) training Workshop support by the Federal Government of Nigeria. Through this training,  I developed my skills in Vegetable Value Chain Development. This knowledge then prompted me to establish a personal Household Slow Food Garden where I planted sweet potatoes, chochorus and amaranthus for family consumption. In addition to that,  I also served as an Extension officer for a pilot project in my Community.

I am currently a Ward Facilitator for the ongoing Nigeria for Women Project in Yewa, in the northern area of Ogun State. The knowledge that I have gained from this project and from the support of Bees Abroad, gave me the confidence to do more. I have now registered my community as a Beekeeping for Life Women Slow Food Garden Community, Ona Egbo, Ilaro

In our community, we work together to promote the philosophy of the Slow Food Movement through Beekeeping, Gardening, Advocacy and Campaigns.

Thanks to Bees Abroad UK and Abotokio Slow Food Beekeeping Community, Abotokio, Nigeria for turning me into a Social Entrepreneur through Beekeeping.

Mrs Afuape Fadilat Abosede

Official Declaration of the Power of God Farmers Slow Food Garden Community Ilaro on Friday, 17th February, 2023 at the Secretariat of the group.

Value-Addition Workshops for Women’s Groups

News from Kasese, Uganda

Becca, a lifetime beekeeper and conservation degree student who represented England at the International Meeting of Young Beekeepers has travelled to our projects in Uganda. She is currently in Kasese with our Women’s Cluster groups, delivering a series of value addition workshops. She is teaching how to make wax products (such as body cream, lip salves, shoe polish) which all earn extra income for the group participants and make good use of all the wax that top bar hives produce! We will hear more from Becca and her work in Kasese on her return to the UK!

We are grateful for the generosity of The Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers who are supporting these and other value addition product workshops being delivered in Uganda and Ghana, providing the knowledge and basic equipment for meaningful extra income.