Ruth lives in Maphombe, in Kwale county. Kwale county is located on the Kenyan coast, near Tanzania. Inconsistent rains, especially recently, have made farming difficult, and the poverty rates in the county are above the Kenyan average.
Beekeeping is somewhat new to Kwale, but the passion fruit farms and mangrove forests throughout the area provide excellent sources of nectar for bee colonies. Many farmers in the area have expressed excitement at the prospect of owning their own hives and having a second source of income from their honey to help care for their families.
Ruth is widowed and has seven children. She has been farming for 35 years. She is currently growing mangoes on her land, as well as some other food crops such as maize. Ruth is excited to start beekeeping because she wants to "understand the benefits of bees."
This is Ruth's first loan with Honey Care, and she plans to use the income generated by her beehives to buy food. In the future, Ruth hopes to save up enough money to build a new house.
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.