Awards: What awards or honors has your solution received, if any?
Clinton Global Initiative University 2013- Participants
Tell us about your partnerships
I am currently partnering with the Gbonkuma Women Group in Bopolu to carry out the initial phase of the Beekeeping Development Initiative. The Gbonkuma Women Group work with rural women to promote community development and provide opportunities the empower rural women.
I chose to partner with this group because they are organize group and they are very interested in empowering themselves and their rural communities. This group established a day care and children development center to help provide a safe heaven for children who are vulnerable to violence in their communities. They provide primary education for vulnerable children. The group depends on volunteerism and agriculture to support the daycare. Recently, funding ran out and the group could not continue to run the daycare.
Bees for Hope is a business with a social purpose; it is a venture that applies market-based solutions for the purposes of furthering the mission of the organization, generating income and contributing to the challenge of addressing social problems that exist in Liberia. Bees for Hope has a social mission as well as an environmental mission. Our vision is to create innovations that provide opportunities that uncap the potentials for rural income generation and financial independence in rural villages and a society where children will have a chance at a good education, and the possibility of maximizing their potentials.
We are working with this group to provide the women a source of income generation and employment opportunities for youths. Profits generated from the honey production will be use to provide support for the children development center and continue to help provide a safe heaven for vulnerable children.
Challenges: What challenges might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?
The major challenge that might hinder the success of the project is raising fund to start the Beekeeping development project. Recently, plans have been put in place to address this challenge. I am speaking with campus organizations and school administrators at Mercer University to establish fund raising activities that will provide funding for my project. I am 2013 graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia USA. During my time at Mercer I was involved in a lot of extra curriculum including the Senior Senator of the Student Government Association and Founder and President of the African Student Association. I can use my influence and relationship with the school to raise funding to support my project.
Funding challenge is a one time challenge. The Bees for Hope project is very sustainable and after the initial investment the project will be able to support itself.
How does your idea help young people create bright futures and improve opportunities for meaningful and long-term careers?
With more than 65% (2.6 million) of the country’s 4 million population living at the national poverty line, a quality standard of living is compromised by hardship that consequently reduces the quality of life. The only thing these 2.6 million people have is the land and themselves and unless these people can increase the productivity of this land, they are doomed.
Bees for Hope is using the land to increase productivity. As an agriculture enterprise beekeeping does not require land ownership or rental, it can be started with equipment and tools that can be sourced locally and in many instances skills and knowledge for such an enterprise are found within local traditions. As a business enterprise it offers not only diverse products, for example honey and wax among others, which can be sold in local market and internationally become an important source of regular income for farm families but can also provide complementary services such as crop pollination. Moreover bee products improve farm family nutrition and can provide for traditional health care remedies.
There is a need for a social purpose sustainable business approach in order to unleash these people from poverty and break the circle of handout and dependency.
In an effort to bridge this poverty gap, the idea of beekeeping came alive. This program seeks to provide local farmers with education and material resources needed for beekeeping as well as learning how to develop a market for honey. Selected youth organizations will be provided training through a 20% Theory and 80% Practical Approach. Following the training, these groupings will then be supplied the beekeeper starter kits and will have full access to our production facility. These youths will be independent to run their own beekeeping centers with their knowledge obtained from the training or they can work for our project and earn income.
In order for Liberia to rise from the ashes of the bloody civil conflict and maintain the fragile peace, it is uncontestable that poverty must be alleviated as a major step in the right direction. Youths have to be empower using innovation and local engagements.
Intervention Focus: Identify which of the following best explain key parts of your solution
Job Creation, Entrepreneurship, Training/Skill Development, Rural Economies.
Does your project utilize any of the innovative design principles below? Select a theme below that most applies to your work. If none of them do, no problem, you can skip this question.
Create New Industries: recognize opportunities in the marketplace to build new professions or new markets
Is your project targeted at solving any of the following key barriers? Select a theme below that most applies to your work. If none of them do, no problem, you can skip this question.
Lack of youth empowerment