Christopher lives outside of Kakamega town, which is in Kakamega county in Western Kenya, close to the Ugandan border. This area contains the only tropical rain forest in Kenya, and the variety of flora in the region makes it well suited for beekeeping. It has one of the highest rural population densities in the world (in some areas, close to 600 people per square kilometer), which may contribute to the region's high poverty rates.
Christopher is married and has five children. He has been farming for 10 years, and is currently growing sugar cane and vegetables on his land. He is excited to start beekeeping because the bees do all the work and you don't have to worry about caring for them or feeding them. This is Christopher's first loan, and he plans to use the income he earns to pay college fees for his children and to buy fertilizers for his crops. When asked about his hopes and dreams for the future, Christopher said that he wants to "build a good house for my 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.