As part of the programmes efforts in the promotion of human rights and the full participation of people with mental illness in the society, it was necessary to begin by supporting the programmes beneficiaries with income generating activities so as to foster the idea of self reliance and to make sure there were sustainable measures to ensure that the support groups can survive if ever the programme was to come to an end.
Through the partnership of Open Society Initiative of Eastern Africa (OSIEA), we managed to purchase 133 langstroth bee hives. The reason that made bee keeping viable was because it is not labour intensive given the nature of our clients.
After various consultations were carried out, it was decided that only 11 groups would benefit from the hives and hence each group would receive each 12 hives with the exception of one group that received 13. These groups are: Amboni, Honi , Mitero, Kabati Endarasha, Bellevue, Kariguini, Kabati Mugunda, Kagongo, Karemenu, Mbirithi, and Sirima.
The major challenge that came out was the fact that most groups had no idea of how to monitor their hives in order to reap maximum benefits from them, hence the idea of training the groups came up, once by the livestock officer being facilitated by Caritas Nyeri and now the latest that was carried out by a honey care staff.
The training was majorly concentrated on how to attract bees even if it means temporary bee hive relocation to the hives and how to maintain them there.
The groups’ honey was also harvested and weighed so that they could be paid according to the agreed price. The total amount of honey harvested from these groups is 86 kilos.
We look forward to these groups becoming a pinnacle from which other people in the community can learn bee keeping from. People who were once looked down on by society will now become the envy of many.