Wubalem Shiferaw, husband Tsega and four-year-old daughter Rekebki live in a remote, rural part of Ethiopia, one of the seven poorest countries in the world – often associated with famine and food shortages.
Life here is tough, and Wubalem struggles to earn enough to feed her family. ‘We have no land to farm, so it has always been hard for us,’ she says. She works as a labourer – it’s backbreaking work that provides nothing more than a little food.
For families without land, beekeeping could provide a vital source of income. Traditionally, beekeepers use makeshift hives, which only produce small amounts of low quality honey. It’s painstaking work, with little hope of getting enough honey to sell and earn a living.
Your donations can help introduce modern beehives, which increase productivity by a staggering 400%. Wubalem is one of the first people to receive a new hive: ‘We used to get around 5kg of honey a year, but now we get up to 20 kg.’ As a result, it could provide the extra income to parents like Wubalem need to buy food, clothes, schoolbooks and medicines – basics that we all take for granted. Wubalem also received much-needed protective clothing, including a face mask and gloves.
Oxfam also helps to provide beekeeping training, so women make the most of their new hives. They’ll learn to collect and process more honey of the highest quality, and then sell it for a profit in local markets. With your help, the community will also establish a workshop, where local people will learn to craft modern beehives. The facility will enable more women to take up beekeeping, increase production and earn a living for their families.
Your donations can help an extra 4,400 women get the beehives and clothing they need to take up beekeeping.
Wubalem is determined to get the best for her daughter and make the most of this new opportunity. Donate today and help more people like her pay for the essentials they need to break free from poverty.
Your donations will:
- Help beekeepers to get hold of protective clothing, such as face masks and gloves.
- Build and equip a community workshop to make modern beehives for vulnerable families.
- Train beekeepers to use their new hives, process their honey and sell their produce through a co-operative.
As a result of this project, many more women like Wubalem will be able to feed their families, send their children to school, and build a future free from poverty.
Bee Q & A:
1. What’s the difference between traditional and modern beehives?
Bees need to construct honeycombs first in traditional beehives before they can store honey. In modern hives, they can skip this step and store honey directly in the hive. As a result, they can produce more honey and beekeepers can harvest honey more rapidly.
2. Because of the limited amount of physical labour required, and the fact that beekeepers only need to work early in the morning and at sundown, beekeeping can coexist almost effortlessly with regular farming activities when properly managed.
3. Bees are important to our planet’s ecosystem. Besides producing nutrient-rich honey, they play an important role as they pollinate a wide variety of crops. In fact, one third of the food we consume depends on pollination by bees. Currently, however, more and more bees are dying. There has been a 45 per cent decrease in commercial honeybees in the UK since 2010, and a 40 per cent decrease in the US since 2006.
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