TEWDI uses beekeeping project to teach skills to students.
Last year, TCP helped kick start a beekeeping project for the Teso Women Development Initiative (TEWDI), one of our Harvest Fuel Initiative partners. Betty Ikalany, the director of TEWDI, wanted to use beekeeping as a way to generate income for women in Soroti, Uganda. Honey and beeswax candles are valuable by-products of the beekeeping enterprise.
So far, it has been a year of learning for TEWDI. Without the benefit of efficient processing equipment, they have nonetheless been able to harvest honey twice from their beehives.
With the second harvest, they used the beeswax from the hives to train local students how to make candles. Candles made from beeswax are clean burning and especially valuable.
In conjunction with staffers from MIT D-Lab, TEWDI hosted an Innovation Workshop for students ages 8-15 in January. Students participated in design competitions that involved candle making, coin purse making and mushroom watering. Students were encouraged to think creatively and critically.
One of the groups made bee wax candles which were sold by proud students to their parents on graduation day.
TEWDI hopes to expand the beekeeping project by investing in processing equipment and developing a central processing unit. This unit would serve other beekeepers in the area and promote the local market for honey and beeswax candles.
Three cheers to our friends at TEWDI for finding ways to integrate income generation projects with skills development for children.