Sustainable bee farming for the blind

HIVE Uganda is training blind people in rural Uganda in beekeeping and planting of bee forage in the community as they get income.

Photo of Ojok Simon
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Eligibility Criteria

  • I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria and terms of the Act for Biodiversity Challenge and that I am eligible to apply.
  • I am 18 years old or older.

Initiative's representative name

Ojok Simon

Initiative's representative date of birth


Initiative's representative gender

  • Man

Headquarters location: country

  • Uganda

Headquarters location: city

Northern Uganda (Gulu District)

Where are you making a difference?


Website or social media url(s)

Date Started

June 2013

Project Stage

  • Established (successfully passed early phases, have a plan going forward)

Yearly Budget : What is your current yearly budget for the initiative?

  • €50k - €100k

Organization Type

  • Nonprofit/NGO

1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this project to succeed.

I my self is visually impaired but have knowledge, skills and experience of managing projects and I have been keeping bees and know that beekeeping has a lot of element that can serve the different talent among blind people. I have also overcome similar challenges they are facing but i struggle, went to school and attained education though I was both disabled and orphan. And above all, I have been in leadership with good reputation and respect with ability to listen and be listen to. So, I want to give back to blind and other community members at large the innovative project that can served them from where they are as well as changing their mindset toward positive living.

2. The problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

In Uganda about one million people are blind. 90% of the blinds live in rural communities and are hugely affected by unemployment because of their limited skills and confidence that is required to pro-actively engage in generating an income. Intervention programs run by the Ugandan government and NGOs are often limited to urban areas and for those who are able to attend formal education. A lot of blind people travel to the cities, hoping to find a job but often end up as beggars on the streets.

3. Your solution: How are you working to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

Instead of luring blind people to urban centers, we pursues the approach that encourage them to run their own business in their community at home. By providing training in beekeeping and four beehives, the participants get the chance to start their own bee farm. The beneficiaries can work together on this project with other members of their community; therefore, we promotes sustainable agriculture in rural areas. By establishing bee farm we are protecting tree cutting and also by conserving the environment.

4. Innovation: How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solve the problem?

HIVE Uganda is promoting beekeeping to the rural blind people. The bee hives are made from local available materials. beneficiaries are introduce to the basic knowledge of beekeeping and are given start-up support to start their own bee farm at home. so the approach is promoting self employment to blind people as well as other family members who are working as assistant and guides to the blind people.

5. Collaboration: How does your initiative seek to bring key players together to preserve biodiversity?

Beekeeping itself is environmentally friendly. By putting bee hives under the tree we shall avoid cutting of trees and it preserve the tree spices. we shall also be planting forage that will provide nectar for feeding bees. And as blind beekeepers start processing the honey and wax there will be opportunity to produce compose manure that farmers can use in their garden.

6. Impact: how has your project made a difference so far — in terms of both business outputs and social impact? How do you plan on measuring progress?

Through beekeeping more than 100 rural blind people are self employed and are employing others to work with them as their guides and assistant. six women also gain employment as tailors who are making bee suits and other inputs needed by the beekeepers. some indigenous tree species are preserved by beekeeper thus protecting the environment.

7. Growth strategies: what are your main strategies for scaling your impact?

As HIVE Uganda we shall establish One Stop honey center which shall be business incubation center. the center will provide more training to blind people. It will carry out outreaches to rural community and will be a central place where blind people and other beekeepers get the information they need. This center will also provide value addition to bee products such as honey and wax processing, packaging and marketing.

8. Creating shared value: How does your initiative create value for society? Or different stakeholders?

Bees are among the endangers species yet they play very important role of pollinating our crops. So by provide hive to them we a saving their live as well as giving opportunity to farmers to get better yeld. Also blind people are often seen as people who can not participate in any productive activities. So by introducing beekeeping to them they are able to demonstrate their talent to society as well as change mindset of people positively toward them.

9. Financial sustainability plan: can you tell us about your plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?

I have engaged in resource mobilization through proposal writing which have been funded, so I will use the same skill. We shall be processing and packaging bee products and marketing them to the community to rais funds for supporting our work. I have been a leader with good communication skills couple with active listening with action oriented that catch attention of the audience and attract them to the organization.

10. Team: what is the current composition of your current team (types of roles, qualifications, full-time vs. part-time, board members, etc.), and how do you plan to evolve the team’s composition as the project grows?

Ojok Simon, CEO A partially sighted Ugandan with a Bachelor degree in Development Studies. He is full time Ojok Patrick Angela Deputy CEO He is a person with physical disability with Bachelor of Public Administration. Full time staff. Adong Concy Grace she is an accountant with bachelor of Business Administration and full time Staff Odongo Jimmy A traininer and full time staff.

11. How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Social media

Evaluation results

11 evaluations so far


Yes, absolutely! - 27.3%

Yes/maybe - 45.5%

Maybe - 18.2%

Maybe/no - 9.1%

No - 0%


5 —Absolutely! It’s crystal clear how the solution is directly contributing to preserving and/or restoring biodiversity. - 0%

4—Yes, it establishes a clear connection to biodiversity. - 36.4%

3—Somewhat, the entry speaks to biodiversity but the direct impact is not well established and/or it is focused on a single species without considering its impact on the broader ecosystem - 45.5%

2—Not really, the connection to biodiversity is weak - 18.2%

1—No. The entry does not reference the solution’s impact on biodiversity. - 0%

3. 3) Is this entry IMPACTFUL?

5 -Yes, absolutely! - 36.4%

4- Yes, I think so. - 36.4%

3- Maybe. - 27.3%

2- Probably not. - 0%

1- No. - 0%

4. 4) Is this entry INNOVATIVE?

5 -Yes, absolutely! - 18.2%

4- Yes, I think so. - 45.5%

3- Maybe. - 27.3%

2- Probably not. - 0%

1- No. - 9.1%

5. 5) Is this entry VIABLE financially and operationally?

5 -Yes, absolutely! - 18.2%

4- Yes, I think so. - 27.3%

3- Maybe. - 18.2%

2- Probably not. - 36.4%

1- No. - 0%


5 -Yes, absolutely! - 45.5%

4- Yes, I think so. - 9.1%

3- Maybe. - 36.4%

2- Probably not. - 0%

1- No. - 9.1%

7. 7) Does this entry value COLLABORATION WITH OTHER STAKEHOLDERS in its approach?

5- Yes, absolutely! - 9.1%

4- Yes, I think ko. - 27.3%

3- Maybe. - 54.5%

2- Probably not. - 0%

1- No. - 9.1%

8. 8) FEEDBACK – Highlights

INNOVATION: You have a great understanding of the problem, have researched existing solutions, and have developed unique, thoughtful new solutions - 57.1%

IMPACT: You use specific numbers and evidence to describe what your project has achieved so far (or plan to achieve in the future) and you have a plan for measuring impact - 85.7%

GROWTH & LEADERSHIP POTENTIAL: You have a thoughtful plan for growth and your founding team has a strong combination of leadership and knowledge-based skills - 100%

VIABIBLITY: You have given a great deal of thought to not just the idea itself but how to make it work from a financial perspective in the present and future - 42.9%

CHANGEMAKING ACTIVATION: You value thinking around how to activate changemakers and empower them to innovate through your product or programming - 100%

POTENTIAL TO CREATE SHARED VALUE: You have a clearly defined plan on how to maximize shared value across multiple sectors and stakeholders - 57.1%

WRITING STYLE: Your writing style is concise, descriptive, clear, and specific - 14.3%

Other option - 0%

9. 9) FEEDBACK - Areas for Improvement

INNOVATION: Be more specific in your description of the research you have done into the past solutions to this problem and focus on how your solution is unique and innovative - 60%

IMPACT: Provide specific instances of your social impact and how you plan to measure impact – it may be helpful to describe the beneficiaries, products and programming, and provide evidence of (or plan for) how to measure impact - 40%

GROWTH & LEADERSHIP POTENTIAL: Your plan for growing the organization can benefit from more specifics. How can you round out the various skills of your current leadership team to make the project a long-term success? - 40%

VIABILITY: Make sure you have provided descriptive information about your financial sustainability plan. Where do the funds come from now and do you have a concrete plan for future sustainability? - 100%

POTENTIAL TO CREATE SHARED VALUE: your plan can benefit from more thought on how to create value for all stakeholders, not just immediate beneficiaries - 40%

WRITING STYLE: Try to be more concise, descriptive, clear, and specific. Avoid jargon. - 100%

Nothing – I thought everything was great! - 20%

CHANGEMAKING ACTIVATION: Try to provide more insights into how you are activating changemakers and empowering them to innovate through your product or programming - 0%

Other option - 0%

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