One of the activities Upendo does with groups and households is bee-keeping, which is studied as a topic in schools. To offer a more practical experience, Masanga Class 7 pupils have initiated a bee-keeping project with support from their UK link-school, Hazlemere C of E School. Masanga has a big piece of bush land which is not cultivated and very suitable for bee keeping and this will be a demonstration facility as the pupils study bee-keeping as a topic and at the same time will generate income from sales of honey. Upendo field officers will assist in training the teachers and pupils on bee-keeping and will do regular follow-up and inspection of the bee hives to ensure the right techniques and skills are applied to give maximum honey yield.
Upendo will help them harvest, process and buy the honey and income generated will be reinvested into other activities and also subsidize other school levy requirements for the needy students. On a pilot basis, Upendo staff expect to gain more experience doing this at Masanga and intend to replicate the same in schools with underutilized land and bushes suitable for bee-keeping. The objective is to expand the bee-keeping initiative into the wider community and through the schools project pupils and teachers will learn a lot about bee-keeping and start the same projects in their homes to generate income to improve their living standards. Bee-keeping is less intensive in terms of labour and other inputs and therefore very suitable for community members with arid land where crops can’t do well.
Leonard Odongo - Program Manager