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Bees blossoming in Zimbabwe


A Salvation Army bee-keeping project in northern Zimbabwe is helping farmers diversify their incomes and build resilience against natural disasters.

“In the heart of Zimbabwe, where communities wrestle with the relentless challenges of disasters and poverty, hope is blossoming like a wildflower.”


So starts the Zimbabwean report on the joint SAWSO (Salvation Army World Service Office) and Salvation Army Switzerland project that aims to diversify income streams for farmers in Zimbabwe and build resilience against disasters.


Among the various innovative business initiatives introduced by this project is the Trek Mukwenya Beekeeping Association, nestled in the northern part of Zimbabwe, in the Guruve District.


Half of the 10 members of the group of farmers selected for the project already possessed traditional beekeeping knowledge. The project presented a chance for them to embrace modern methods and a more sustainable approach. With one wooden hive per individual and essential resources such as beekeeping suits, smokers, propolis (resin-like material made by bees) and wax, they were equipped to embark on their beekeeping adventure.


The project also acknowledges the delicate balance of nature, providing saplings to be planted around the hives to encourage pollination, showing a commitment to the environment as well as to the livelihoods of these budding beekeepers.


Guided by comprehensive training on safe and effective beekeeping, the Trek Mukwenya Beekeeping Association soon turned their dreams into reality. Unity is their strength, and they pooled not only the resources they received from the project but also their own. Grouping their hives together in one location, they developed a constitution that outlines how they will support each other in honey production, marketing, and sales in the future.


Their determination bore sweet fruits, quite literally. Bottling and selling their honey in local communities marked the beginning of a newfound sense of pride and empowerment. As their honey found eager buyers, the members felt the power of community-driven change. They were no longer just individual beekeepers; they are now a force that champions growth, progress and resilience.


With each harvest, their aspirations grow bolder. The Trek Mukwenya Beekeeping Association now dreams of expanding its reach beyond local markets to regional supermarkets and possibly national outlets. They hope to pool their resources again in the future to purchase additional hives, envisioning a professional and thriving beekeeping association.


As the honey flows and the income increases, the impact on the members’ lives is immeasurable. It is not just about the financial gains, but the sense of purpose and camaraderie that reverberates through the group. The association serves as a platform where individuals support and uplift each other, advocating for change together.


They marvel at the new skills they have acquired, blending them seamlessly with the work they had done in the past. It is a dance between tradition and modernity, each step leading to greater prosperity. With every drop of honey sold, the members find renewed hope, knowing that their hard work creates a ripple effect of positivity in their communities.


The income earned from the honey also brings stability and opportunities. Families that had once grappled with uncertainty now have brighter prospects for their children's education, better healthcare, and improved living conditions. The beekeeping journey has become a gateway to resilience and transformation, painting a brighter future for all those involved.


This report originally appeared on sawso.org



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