The beehive intervention by FLEP’s TLP Project through the support of Children Mission Africa has been championing the cause of change in the lives of women in different communities around Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria. 50 women started beekeeping and these women wear many hats; they are beekeepers, small-scale business women and farmers.
One of these women is Veronica Ahingir who was among those selected in her community to be part of the Beehives intervention beneficiaries; she lives in Adetsav community of Gwer local government area. Veronica, a mother of twelve and caregiver for five of her grandchildren farms rice, cassava and yam on a small land to compliment her retired husband’s meager pension that often comes irregularly.
While talking with the implementer during a meeting, Veronica stated that the beehives intervention is a blessing to her and her family. In 2018, 48.3 kg of honey was harvested from her hives and sold at #7,245.00 NGN ($19.95 USD). With good harvest three beehives was added to her hives for this years intervention, Veronica is now a proud owner of six (6) beehives which means she will get a double harvest this year (2019).
“I have been encouraging other women not to cut down their trees but rather provide them for beehives installation; a beehive on a tree, it is double gain, as the woman can sell the honey at harvest and the tree will still be standing.” Veronica motivates other women in her community. This is unlike the firewood business where the trees are cut down forever thus encouraging ecological development
Beehive has become a profitable enterprise; Veronica and other women are working towards making beekeeping a key income generating activity for many families in the area, especially those with trees on their farmlands. She has also developed a leadership skill that enables her to positively influence other women within and outside her community through an organized savings and loan scheme structured by the women.
The women engage in activities that foster unity in the community; such activities include the ‘orality method’ of bible stories and bible reading, and the organized savings group. Through the scheme, Veronica was able to purchase a milling machine that serve as a means of earning a daily income. She said she is earning an income daily “for the first time in her life!”. The milling machine generates about #1,000 NGN ($2.75 USD) every day.
With eyes shining bright with hope for a better tomorrow, Veronica is finding her way back to living a life filled with confidence and a bright future.