We have put over 400 artisans to work in rural communities in Rwanda! This is a great start, but many more adults need employment in these communities. As we observed this need, we looked for opportunities to harness the skills and resources that individuals in these communities already have. One skill that many in rural communities already possess is beekeeping.
In 2016 we started the Azizi Life Beekeeping program to help develop, improve and market the products that the Rwandan beekeepers were already producing. This gets much needed income directly into the hands of rural Rwandans who use it to help their families and communities thrive.
Our beekeeping program started with the set-up of an apiary (bee keeping farm) in a village close by Azizi Life. We used this apiary to train existing and new beekeepers in traditional methods with a modern twist. This modern twist results in higher quality honey production and a reduction of bee colony destruction. These changes increase the income of beekeepers while increasing the population of bees in the community. This is a win-win since more bees help with local crop pollination and is great for the environment as well.
It’s not only honey that our beekeepers are able to produce. After the filtering and bottling of honey we are able to take the filtered sediment and transform it into blocks of 100% beeswax. This beeswax is turned into candles, wood polish and even cosmetics like lip balm. Our plan is to help our beekeepers expand their traditional product line of honey only and develop, market and sell different bee related products. The development of these new products will not only increase the income and thriving of the beekeepers we have trained, but all beekeepers across Rwanda.
Our Beekeeping program is off to a great start, but we’d like to train even more beekeepers and help them learn new techniques that can increase their production and income. Beekeeping takes a lot of supplies like beekeeping suits, gloves and smokers. If you’d like to outfit a beekeeper and help them learn new skills to increase their income and their family’s thriving, please donate below. Thank you for keeping our beekeepers “buzzing” with work!