Entrepreneurship, protection, connection
These three words signify Tunadobees’ and Woord en Daad’s Busy Bees programme [https://www.woordendaad.nl/tag/busybees-oeganda/].
Bees connect. Investing in an inclusive honey value chain in Uganda has led to an increase from 5% female apiary entrepreneurs in 2015 to 41% in 2021. A great development, since beekeeping is not only profitable for women: it can be combined with other roles and family responsibilities. Gender and inclusion are in sector organization Tunadobees’ DNA, with gender and inclusion champions in the organization and Gender Action Learning system as a standard approach to guide inclusive monitoring and planning. After having successfully integrated women, they are now intendedly opening up the honey value chain to people with a disability, people from ethnic minorities, and refugees.
Take Jennifer [https://www.woordendaad.nl/jennifer-oogst-honing-en-respect/], living as a mother with a visual impairment, whose first honey harvest made all the difference. She shares: “It changed my life. First of all, I received respect from the community. People even ask me for advice on beekeeping. Secondly, I can earn a living. I can help my children, take them to school and pay the school fees. I can pay the doctor’s bills. And I have changed myself. “Currently, 1,650 women and young people (75% women) are learning the art of beekeeping with the prospect of a good income. The tuition fees and starting capital for the apiary are given as loans, which they pay back (in part) with the profits from the honey. The young people and women develop into professional, entrepreneurial beekeepers with an eye for nature conservation.’’