Henry lives in Sindo, a small town in Homa Bay County. Homa Bay County is located in southwestern Kenya, close to both the Tanzanian border and Lake Victoria, Africa's largest lake. Despite the proximity to the lake, water infrastructure in Homa Bay remains quite undeveloped, and inconsistent rains and occasional droughts make life difficult for farmers in the area. Nonetheless, farmers have adapted to these challenges, particularly by diversifying their crops to include cassava, sunflower, sorghum, bananas, groundnuts and millet, as well as drought-resistant varieties of papaya and mangoes. Although beekeeping has not traditionally been practiced in the region, many individuals have expressed interest in keeping bees and are knowledgeable about their pollination benefits.
Henry is married and has eight children. Both he and his wife are farmers. They have been farming for 30 years now. They are currently growing beans, millet, and maize and raising livestock on their farm. Henry is excited about beekeeping as the honey produced will be a source of food and medicine for his family and it will also earn him extra income.
This is Henry’s first loan with Honey Care. He is interested in working with Honey Care because they are keen in keeping their promises. He intends to use the income generated from his beekeeping to pay school fees for some orphans he is taking care of and to provide for their basic needs. Henry’s hope for the future is to expand his beekeeping project and to teach others about beekeeping.
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.