Caroline lives in Ogongo, a small town in Homa Bay County. Homa Bay county is located in south-western Kenya, and borders onto Lake Victoria, the second-largest lake in the world. Populations are dense close to the lake, where many individuals make their living from fishing, and a few work in the small but slowly growing tourism industry. A popular tourist attraction in Homa Bay county is Ruma National Park, a game reserve that is home to the rare roan antelope, a shy species distantly related to the reticulated giraffe. Most people in Homa Bay make their living from farming, and the rolling hills of the area are dotted with fields and fruit tree plantations.
Caroline is married and has four children. She runs a small business selling mandazi while her husband is a farmer. He has been farming for five years now and he is currently growing maize and beans on his farm. Caroline is excited about beekeeping as it will earn her some income from the sale of honey.
This is Caroline’s first loan with Honey Care and she intends to use the proceeds from her hives to expand her small business. Caroline’s hope for the future is to expand her beekeeping project and produce more honey.
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.