Two women’s beekeeping co-operatives are going from strength to strength, thanks to support from your donations.
Katakhana Beekeeping Cooperative
More than 280 women in the Katakhana Beekeeping Cooperative in Bamyan province are now producing more than a ton of honey a year, which they sell at local markets.
Our support for the cooperative helped to buy and run a van, which is crucial for reaching women in more remote areas. And the van is driven by women who we have helped put through driving school. Although women drivers are not uncommon in Kabul, they are rare in Bamyan. When the area was ruled by the Taliban, it was forbidden for women to drive on penalty of death.
We have funded business training and helped with the costs of additional hives. The women have been trained in maintaining apiaries (the bee yard), especially on the steps needed to counter American Foulbrood disease. As a result, there has been a good bee survival rate over the harsh winters.
Chaharde Ghorband Beekeeping Association
The Chaharde Ghorband Beekeeping Association is based in the Chaharde Ghorband district, 50km north of Kabul, in the foothills of the Hindu Kush mountains.
The vet and bee enthusiast who advised the Katakhana Co-operative, Dr Habib Noori, approached us about funding the growth of the Association.
Our grants have provided training for 23 women beekeepers and equipped each with two new hives and colonies. The women initially contribute 20% of the costs but, if all goes well, could gain a profit of $300 a year each. This is a significant income in rural Afghanistan.
We have also contributed towards the cost of a vehicle, which allows them to move hives to areas with more flowers for the bees. It also means they can transport their produce to and collect materials from market. As with the Katakhana co-operative, drivers were vital for the Chaharde Ghorband Association. So we supported four people through their driving test in Kabul, their first time out of the remote valley.
We love these projects: Afghan organisations with low overheads, run by expert enthusiasts in a rural area. They are good for the environment, empower women and provide them with a sustainable income.