Through the honey cooperative, she received a bank account and savings book of her own, resources to build her savings from the money earned selling honey. And that’s not all she’s taken away from the experience. Along with beehive production, training on modern beekeeping, and business skills, the program integrates adult literacy, in which women learn about reproductive health and gain basic reading and writing skills. Addise learned how to read and write in school, but wasn’t confident in her abilities. With literacy training, she says she can read and write quite well.
Buzzing with pride
Six years after joining the project, Addise has two modern and one traditional beehive. She was elected secretary of a beekeeping cooperative. She reports that she is feeling better financially and is happy in her marriage.
“Previously I felt like I lived in poverty, but now I feel like I am in a better place because I learn, work, earn my own income. I feel equal to my friends,” she says. “I feel I am equal to men.”
The honey Addise and the women of the cooperative harvest might taste like any other good quality honey; but it’s entirely richer and sweeter when you know the beekeepers behind it are getting an education, gaining skills, and earning an income which will continue to reward generations to come.