Beekeeping can be an important source of income for women and children in Haiti, where over half of the population lives in poverty. We are raising $50,000 to set up and staff 10 beekeeping demonstration sites and bee-plant nurseries. These sites will train 400 new beekeepers (at least 60% women) in Western Haiti each year and become a small, but important, part of the global effort to save the bees.
Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Half of the population lives below the national poverty line and 24% live in extreme poverty. On average, farms measure less than 1.5 acres, so every square foot must be used efficiently. Education costs in Haiti are exorbitant for most families. Women are excluded from the traditional labor market and are more likely to be unemployed. Beekeeping has the potential to be a lucrative business for women, who have traditionally been excluded.
Since 2012, Prosperity Catalyst has been supporting women-led businesses in Haiti. We launched our beekeeping program in 2018 and saw immediate impact as new beekeepers earned more income for their children's education. $50,000 will fund 10 new demonstration sites, each with 5 hives and 2 sets of beekeeping equipment, plus pay for agricultural specialists and trainers like Patricia (pictured above). The 10 sites will train 400 new beekeepers (at least 60% women) each year.
After training, women access loans to purchase hives and equipment. A hive can produce $188 per year, which more than covers a child's primary school fees. Most beekeepers start with 2 hives and split colonies annually. The 10 sites serve as nurseries for bee-friendly plants, which were destroyed by Hurricane Matthew in 2016. Trainees receive citrus, avocado, mango, and moringa trees and aromatic plants, which help improve families' nutrition and provide important environmental recovery.