Joseph lives in Ogongo, a small town in Homa Bay County. Homa Bay County is located at the southwestern tip of Kenya, and its northern end is dominated by Lake Victoria, the largest lake in the Southern Hemisphere. Lake Victoria extends into three east African countries, allowing cross-border flows of goods and people. A market day in a lakeside town in Homa Bay County often boasts traders from Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya, all of whom arrive in boats to ply their wares. Although the semi-arid nature of much of Homa Bay County means that poverty rates are quite high, many people in the region hold a strong cultural emphasis on education, and as a result school attendance figures around Homa Bay are above the national average.
Joseph is married and has seven children. He is a retired civil servant, and his wife is a teacher. Both he and his wife are farmers. They have been farming for five years now, and they are currently growing maize, bananas, citrus fruits, guavas, passion fruits and butternut squash. Joseph is looking forward to beekeeping as it will provide him with honey for food.
This is Joseph’s first loan with Honey Care, and he intends to use the proceeds from his beehives to pay school fees for his children. Joseph’s hope for the future is to expand his beekeeping project.
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.