A loan of $350 helped to buy beehives and apiary materials for honey production.


Helen's story

Helen lives and works outside of Sindo, in Homa Bay County. Homa Bay County is located in southwestern Kenya, close to both the Tanzanian border and Lake Victoria, Africa's largest lake. Despite the proximity to the lake, water infrastructure in Homa Bay remains quite undeveloped, and inconsistent rains and occasional droughts make life difficult for farmers in the area. Nonetheless, farmers have adapted to these challenges, particularly by diversifying their crops to include cassava, sunflower, sorghum, bananas, groundnuts and millet, as well as drought-resistant varieties of papaya and mangoes. Although beekeeping has not traditionally been practiced in the region, many individuals have expressed interest in keeping bees and are knowledgeable about their pollination benefits.

Helen is married and has nine children. Both Helen and her husband farm, but also have businesses on the side: Helen sells fish and her husband works in a livestock business. Helen has been farming for 10 years and is currently growing millet, lentils, groundnuts, maize and mangoes on her land. She also tends to dairy goats, cows and poultry.

This is Helen’s first loan and she plans to use the income generated by her hives to help pay her children’s school fees and to invest in new crops like sunflowers, which she says will help her bees and increase her income. Helen’s hope for the future is to grow her small business and receive training in business management, eventually reaching a level where she can become a trainer of trainers.



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