Disabled but able: Visually impaired people in bee keeping venture

Hive Uganda partly finished headquarters in Layibi, Gulu town

Person living with visual impairment under their organization, Hive Uganda are making progress in bee keeping, a project established to improve on the livelihoods of person with disabilities in northern Uganda.

The Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of the organization located in Layibi division, Gulu Municipality, Simon Ojok says, they have so far trained 70 people who are scattered in the districts of Gulu, Amuru,Omoro and Nwoya on bee keeping skills and methods.

Ojok, in interview with TND News’ Micheal Ojok, notes that, from the sales of the processed honey, they have used the money to buy more bee hives for distribution, pay office rent among other monthly expenses.

Some of the bee hives to be given out to disabled person by Hive Uganda. All Photos by Michael Ojok.

He also says they get between shs.300, 000 and shs.400, 000 monthly from the honey. Ojok added they save shs.80, 000 monthly.

“We are grappling with high taxation, high volume of person with disabilities wanting to join the organization, and getting long term partners to fund us,” he added.

Hive Uganda started five years ago. To Ojok, it’s hard for them to get partners as many want to associate themselves with long term organization.

The assistant production manager of the organization, Jimmy Odongo says, “We receive between 500kg to 1 ton of raw honey from the beneficiaries as well as other people.”

Through the organization, Odongo adds ‘many people with visual impairment are in position to support their families with basic needs, paying their children in school among other responsibilities.”

Fred Ouma a beneficiary with visual impairment hailing from Gem Parish in Lallogi Sub County in Omoro district currently boasts of 32 beehives from the five he was given as startup by Hive Uganda.

Ouma earns at least shs.400, 000 after every harvest and uses it to cater for his basic needs and paying the school of his children.

Jennifer Abalo Oloya, another beneficiary from Bardege division in Gulu Municipality says she has been able to acquire land for her and her children among meeting other basic needs.

Last year Hive Uganda got 25,000 US Dollars for winning the All Man Price Award held in the United States of America in recognition for promoting disability person through bee keeping project.

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