Chitsaka lives in a small town outside of Sagalato, in Kwale county. Kwale county is located on the Kenyan coast, near Tanzania. Inconsistent rains, especially recently, have made farming difficult, and the poverty rates in the county are above the Kenyan average. Beekeeping is somewhat new to Kwale, but the passionfruit farms and mangrove forests throughout the area provide excellent sources of nectar for bee colonies. Many farmers in the area have expressed excitement at the prospect of owning their own hives, and having a second source of income from their honey to help care for their families.
Chitsaka has three children, and has been farming for eight years. She is currently tending to an orange orchard on her land. She is excited to start beekeeping because she sees it as a good source of income, and is looking forward to working with Honey Care because they give very good training.
Chitsaka has created a kindergarten program in her community, and volunteers her time to help teach and care for her pupils. With the income generated from her beehives, Chitsaka plans to sponsor kindergarten pupils, and pay the expenses for those children whose families cannot afford to front the minimal fees needed to buy teaching materials for the young girls and boys. Chitsaka's class is currently taught out of a small room with an unfinished roof, but her hope for the future is to save up enough money to build a proper classroom, so that her pupils have a good space to play and learn.
About Honey Care Africa
Honey Care Africa (HCA) is a for-profit social enterprise that trains smallholder farmers to become commercial honey producers and provides ongoing support for hive owners. Founded in Kenya in 2000, it is a member of the World Fair Trade Organization and aims to increase the income of rural farmers throughout East Africa.
Kiva lenders’ funds will help HCA make loans in the form of a certain number of beehives per family to jumpstart income. This new approach will simplify the process of hive purchase and honey production and will enable HCA to reach many more farmers. Farmers will repay the organization the same way they would for a typical loan.
This Kiva loan will be used to provide borrowers with needed goods or services, as opposed to cash or financial credit.