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Four legs to a table

Designing beekeeping projects to uplift rural communities is a complex operation. Each project is unique, the needs of the participants, the available infrastructure, the culture and the methods of implementation all have to be tailored to the needs of the people we aim to help.

Each project essentially has four parts to it. The beneficiaries whom the project aims to help, funding agency, Rupert’s Honey to supply the skills and knowledge transfer and the monitoring of socio-economic successes of the project. All four parts need to be in place, but the emphasis on each aspect may vary depending on specific factors of each project.

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The beneficiaries

There are many different groups of people that can benefit from a beekeeping project. Sometimes we are approached to help support existing beekeepers in knowledge and skills on how to manage their hives and have access to more modern technologies or equipment. Sometimes we are approached by a cooperative that has a wish to start in beekeeping themselves. Sometimes we are requested to support already running agricultural projects and bring them the benefits of our knowledge and what bees can do for their project. Sometimes we are asked to supply training to ‘trainers’ so that they can set up a commercial honey operation with a sound basis in apiculture. Regardless on how the make-up of the beneficiaries is the most important aspect of any developmental project is to realise that we are there to help people. Development is about uplifting and improving the lives of other people so that poverty and hunger can be eradicated while food security, life expectancy and stability can be improved.

With the make up of each project being different, Rupert’s Honey spends a fair amount of time before any project is started interviewing and discussing with the beneficiaries what their needs are so that the structure and time line of the projects can be specified to the best use of resources for the most applicable effect within the project. Having well structured and determined goals means an effective use of financial and human resources through the project.

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Funding Agencies and NGO for the auditing of funds

Development requires funds. The time, equipment knowledge and implementation of projects to help people uplift themselves all require funds to operate. Most often these funds come in the form of international donation channelled through registered and existing NGO’s working in or near the project site. This is the preferred method as the accounting, impact and channelling of funds can be best structured to have the best result. Occasionally co-operative farmers work together and privately fund their own development, depending on their requirements at the time. There have also been a number of governmental funded programs in various countries where a group of beneficiaries have identified their needs and requested Rupert’s Honey to train and support them in their development. Rupert’s Honey has facilitated the applications of such groups so that the planning and implementation is again in accordance with pre structured agreements.

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Skills Transfer and technological development.

Rupert’s Honey are skilled partners in the development of the project. With years of experience, specifically designed methods and equipment Rupert’s Honey have the ability to deliver specifically designed training and skills transfer with applicable technologies. Rupert’s Honey offer 100% knowledge transfer, allowing the beneficiaries the ability to manage their beekeeping operations after the project ahs been handed over. Rupert’s Honey also offer follow on technical support and advice, access to markets and networking which are important to the long term success of the project.

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Bees wax production

Beekeeping is not a ‘quick fix instant rewards program.’ It’s a long term investment into the lives of the beneficiaries so that they can alleviate poverty and increase their own standards of living. The methods, skills and technologies used often determine the long term success or short term failure of a project, and the way they are implemented is very important. With years of experience behind Rupert’s Honey we work in conjunction with beneficiaries to help plan a project that has every chance of success. Its important for the skills and knowledge transfer to be targeted to the needs of the people we aim to help. Rupert’s Honey have experience in rural applications, understand dynamics with regards to working in trying circumstances an that often hunger, poverty, illiteracy and food security are driving factors behind people we work with. It’s a dynamic partnership whereby Rupert’s Honey combines the funds available to teach people applicable, sustainable and modern practices so as to improve their quality of life on a number of levels.

Monitoring the effect of projects on the target groups of the project.

Development is about people. It is a simple as that. Building a road, or a school has no benefit unless people use it. A road through a long dark jungle has no value unless the people around that road have the ability to benefit from it. Thus development is all about people. We aim to make sure that the people whom need the support are the ones which access the training, funds and advantages, both directly and indirectly, from beekeeping development projects.

With all the good intentions in the world, there needs to be a monitoring of the development and the effect beekeeping has on the communities around which beekeeping is practiced. The ‘old school’ thoughts that by spending a budget so that the funds will be available for use the following financial year are past. Each project needs an independent third party to evaluate the positive and negative aspects of a project so that the goals and ideals of what we aim to do are maintained and that the best possible practice is followed by all parties, Transparency, openness and honest communication of what is expected by all parties, and what can be delivered within reasonable expectations is of prime importance to manage the goals and outcomes of developmental work.

Every project aims to have this independent evaluation to ensure the long term and sustainable impact on beekeeping development