We are helping some of the poorest families in Ethiopia earn income through beekeeping. This income is essential to keep children in school, well-fed and pays for medicines when needed - and begins to break the cycle of poverty for households in northern Ethiopia. We are not giving equipment - instead we provide training, knowledge and skills so people can keep bees, earn money and not be reliant on outside help. Honey and beeswax can be sold as a reliable source of family income.
Poor families in northern Ethiopia do not have enough land to grow all their own food and have insufficient income to buy food. As a result children are sent out to work as hired labour - depriving them of an education. This locks them into a future of poverty - with no chance of escape. Families are surviving on less than US$290 per year - they have no resources to invest in new businesses. The cycle of poverty repeats itself through the generations. It is this cycle of poverty we aim to break.
We provide beekeeping training - this includes how to make simple beehives using local materials, managing bees and harvesting high quality honey. We give participants the means and skills to produce an average of 70kg of honey per year. This will sell for $130. Our solution combines beekeeping training and business advice on how to access the best markets. On average it costs us $300 to support one person during the two years it takes to become a successful, profitable and confident beekeeper.
Our target for 2015 is to train 50 families. The skills that people learn during this time are the first steps in escaping from poverty. Local culture is to share skills with friends and family, so the work we do reaches the wider community. Our sustainable approach helps to ensure healthy bee populations that yield more honey and beeswax for sale and also pollinate food crops and other nearby flowering plants and trees. This is important for maintaining local biodiversity and healthy bees.