Elija 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, and a market day in a lakeside town in Homa Bay county often boasts traders from Ugandan, 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.
Elija is married and has ten children. His wife is a voluntary community worker, while he is a retired police officer. Both he and his wife have been farming for thirty years now, and they are currently growing maize, millet, and beans and tending to a small forest on their land. Elijah is looking forward to beekeeping, as it will earn him extra income and provide him with honey for food and medicinal use.
This is Elija’s first loan with Honey Care. He intends to use the proceeds from his beehives to invest in his farm. Elija’s hope for the future is "to grow a wealthy family."
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.