The Universal Outreach community is very excited about beekeeping and for many good reasons. We highly value the premise this program is built on—develop sustainable markets that provide an extra source of income to low income earners. There is a strong market for local honey in Liberia. Beekeeping gives people the opportunity to gain a new skill and earn a fair dollar based on their own hard work.
Read on learn more about how your contribution to beekeeping in Liberia is changing lives.
When Universal Outreach started in 2003 we were strictly about two things: kids and education. Over the years we have learned that for families’ to be able to afford to send their kids to school they need financial stability. This is where our interest in beekeeping training started. Five years later and we’re still dedicated to the development of this important income-generating occupation that thrives in rural locations.
Beekeeping is a value added skill that provides families with an extra source of income that impacts their ability to meet their financial needs each year. Beekeeping targets one of Liberia’s lowest income earners —farmers— and its benefits are two-fold. Not only does it increase their income, it also increases the yield of their crops. But farmers aren’t the only people who can beekeep. Landless people can partner with those who have land, communities that have decided to preserve their forest can use beekeeping offset income loss from reduced lumber sales and city folks can beekeep on the family farm.
Over the past five years UOF has helped in the creation of a honey industry that is community driven, sustainable, and economically beneficial to farmers. Since 2011, this program trained hundreds of farmers in ninety communities to become beekeepers. The most common use of the extra money generated by beekeeping activities is said to be: school fees, medical bills for their family, home improvements and reinvesting in hives.
In collaboration with Liberia Beekeepers Association, we have developed a “Training of Trainers” certification program as well as an “Introduction to Beekeeping” program. The introductory program provides a standardized knowledge base for beekeeping that can then be practiced at the participants hives with the help of a Universal Outreach beekeeping extension worker. The Advanced training takes Liberia’s most invested beekeepers, hones their skills and provides a more in-depth knowledge as well as teaching skills that can then be utilized to host workshops for interested individuals, other organizations or farmers in their communities. Thank you for your commitment to this program.
Universal Outreach’s training and extension work program draws from Liberia’s top beekeepers and employs eight people in its beekeeping extension work team. This team travels Liberia to support new beekeepers, collect data, harvest honey and share important information related to beekeeping. They are essential to the success of this developing industry. We have recently expanded this program to ensure the success of new beekeepers and the industry as a whole. Thanks to all of you for supporting this expansion! We continue to encourage donations to this program to support this valuable service.