HIVE Uganda promotes self-employment of blind and visually impaired people in the rural areas of Northern Uganda through beekeeping. Beneficiaries are introduced to the basics of beekeeping, honey harvesting and marketing of bee products. By selling bee products the rural blind beekeepers have the chance to generate their own alternative income to support their families. It is our goal to support rural blind people becoming courageous and confident beekeepers in their community!
HIVE Uganda is building inclusive leaders one hive at a time! By providing training in beekeeping for blind people living in the rural areas of Northern Uganda, HIVE Uganda empowers people with disabilities to become self-employed, more confident.
What issue are you trying to solve?
In Uganda about one million people are blind. 90% of blinds live in rural communities and are hugely affected by unemployment because of their limited skills and confidence that is required to pro-actively engage in generating an income. Intervention programs run by the Ugandan government and NGOs are often limited to urban areas and for those who are able to attend formal education. A lot of blind people travel to the cities, hoping to find a job but often end up as beggars on the streets. HIVE Uganda is trying to address the problem by providing training in beekeeping in the rural areas of Northern Uganda and therefore, promoting self-employment through beekeeping.
What is your approach to this issue?
Instead of luring blind people to urban centers, HIVE Uganda pursues the approach to encourage people to run their own business in their community at home. By providing training in beekeeping and four beehives, the participants get the chance to start their own bee farm. The beneficiaries can work together on this project with other members of their community; therefore, HIVE Uganda promotes the inclusion and integration of disabled people in rural areas. This empowers farmers with disabilities living in rural areas to work within their localities, become more independent and an active participant in their community.
What is the potential impact of your initiative?
HIVE Uganda was founded in 2013. Since then over 70 beneficiaries have taken part in the training and got the chance to start up their own bee farms. In 2017 the organization was able to move into a new office which provides space for up to five employees. On the same building also the production site located. The honey is processed and stored here, the sterilization of beeswax is managed here and the wax can from there on used as a base for further products. Additionally, all beekeeping equipment is stored here.
In the future it is planned to set up a demonstration apiary which shall be used for training purposes.