Maintenance of Bee colonies for ecosystem and economical benefits using urban river sides

This is the project's sight which is a river side in the main city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The place is cleared and cleaned for apiary.

Photo of Mekdes,Frehiwot
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  • Yes, I fulfill all of the eligibility criteria.

Initiative's representative name

Mekdes Gebretensay

Initiative's representative date of birth

December 29,1957

Initiative’s representative gender

  • Woman

Where are you making a difference?

In Woreda 07, Yeka subcity, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Website or social media url(s)

LinkedIn :- Facebook:

When was your organisation founded?

in February 2011

Focus areas

  • Helping people adapt to technologies of the future
  • Financial skills and capability
  • Reskilling and upskilling the workforce

Project Stage

  • Start-Up (first few activities have happened)

Yearly Budget: How much capital do you need to accomplish your proposed project?

  • $100k - $250k

Organisation Type

  • For-profit

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 to succeed

The first inspired member of the partnership was the vice president now but formerly started to study about bee keeping 13 years back. She was always dreaming of having a bee keeping project the first reason is she prefers to eat honey than any sweet foods, the other reason she learned that the species is engendered due to pesticides in the rural community. During September flowers bloom after the rainy seasons, The bees happily fly to the flowers but the sad thing is the crops also start to flower and the weeds grow equally. The farmers use chemicals to clean the weeds that affect the bees too. This is the sad story but we believe we can teach the farmers. In the urban areas at list bees are safer as pesticides are not used.

2. The problem: What problem surrounding employability or financial capability are you helping to solve?

The youth unemployment in our country happens due to lack of business ideas, financial scarcity and lack of initiatives to venture in an innovative ideas. Problems can be solved by provision of life changing skill training and and sharing on profitable business ideas based on the interest and skill of each unemployed youth with loan support. This will bring new energies towards healthy development of the whole of the population.

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

Our group is composed of 9 unemployed members when starting the project we got a about $US 9000 as a loan from the local government and implemented the project using the money. We hired 2 labors for the day to day followup. The honey product is expected to be collected for the market after 8 months. We planned to demonstrate our farming and its profits in the coming one year to certain groups of unemployed youth groups registered by the local government office. From our exemplary project river sides are believed to be turned into useful open areas for tree plantation and green area with friendly economic development programs that include urban agriculture ( horticulture and apiary). We have already created communication with the government and NGOs and the communities to collaborate for the coming program. This project plan is also accepted by the government plan of working on cleaning rivers from being used as waste disposal of the city.

4. How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solving the problem?

We believe our idea is unique first it is profitable, second it works on the turning of the neglected and health hazardous place to healthy and echo friendly place, third it works on protection of the endangered pollinators ;-the bees, fourth it planned to benefit the unemployed youth and the society at large. The project also planned to do every effort to produce honey genuinely and also strength those with genuine products against those cheaters mixing foreign things in the honey such as sugar that consumers complain about repeatedly. This trend is discouraging as people may not be interested to buy honey from the market. We plan to create a honey producing association for a better market and to solve the threats

5. Employability: how is your organization or project teaching people to develop the skills that they need to survive in the future job market?

Our project plan for employable is the skill in creating job opportunities that are environmental friendly such as apiary and horticulture that always demanded by the market. There are also profitable activities such as carpentry of the bee hives, development of bee colonies for sale, hand made candles from the bee wax. The youth can also live by being employed in gardening because working on identifying and planting as well as flowering as this is also part of the beekeeping activities.

5a. Please describe which future-oriented skills your organization is focused on fostering and how you have measured / plan to measure progress

Our organization future- oriented skills is on how to develop the scientific skills of maintaining bees , using innovated testing materials for the quality of products for domestic and foreign markets. We want also to develop agricultural skills of using non chemical fertilizers, pesticides for crops . This to teach the farmers for the healthy development of the whole creatures.

6. Financial capability: how is your organization or project creating innovative solutions that arm people with ability to optimize their current and future financial health

Our projects plan for financial capability in the future is adding more hives and expect yields within the coming one year. In the main city drought is not expected every year and there are 2 seasons that flowers bloom that are favorable to bees. This means there are two or three honey harvesting times. The product from one hive is expected to be 30 to 40 killos. This is certainly supports the financial needs of the members and can encourage the future youth groups interested to involve in similar projects.

6a. Please describe what aspect of financial capability your organization is focused on fostering and how you have measured / plan to measure progress.

The financial capability comes from the products of the bee including , honey, bee wax , propolis, bee pollen, etc for various purposes We planned to progress more and more by securing more open areas that can be made friendly to bees . With the present land we can accommodate up to 100 beehives and the outcome will be more beneficiary. This expansion will depend on the money secured from the first and second season sell of the products.

7. Marketplace: Who else is addressing the same problem? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

This type of project is different from other types of change makers programs because this one has other major actors - the bees. It is just helping them to get friendly environment and the product is there, benefiting us . By this time honey is highly required for health purposes and it is becoming a substitution to sugar use. But after getting the financial outcome the beneficiaries can use the other change makers and we can advise them to multiply their finances and get knowledge for the best use of their income.

8. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

During the project initial period on identifying the land for beekeeping, there were resistances by some of the neighboring communities /about 10 households , believed that bees can sting them and their children. It took sometimes to convince them that bees are not aggressive unless some intruder try to open their hives. We showed them that bees fetch their food from flowers and return on their times with discipline characters. They became convinced and noticed some people are also having hives in their gardens with no problem observes. After the coming of the bees they observed that nothing happened and at last they become supporters. The other impact is the local government and concerned small enterprise organizers, agriculture university representatives visited the place and it become new idea of using this place for such urban agricultural activities.

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

We have to wait until the bee colonies grow estimated in 9 to 15 months from now. By that time the first and the second harvesting time can be collected. From the given hives there will be an average of 1500 kilos of honey. This will return the initial loan and purchasing of materials for processing and this is a short term program. For the medium term the product will double and half of the profit will be for the members according to their shares. During the first three years the honey will be for domestic market, During the second phase, more honey will be collected from other groups organized and entered the market for both domestic and foreign market. During these years we can have free time to support others.

10. Team

The composition is 5 women and 4 men. Out of these one has MA degree in social science, two have BA degree in pharmacy and marketing, three have diplomas in accounting , electricity and fashion design, three have certificates in catering, driving, one is 8th grade with shop keeping experience. The vice president takes the leadership role with the other two members and major decisions are approved by the general assembly (nine members) membership will grow with the project expansion.

Help Us Support Diversity! Are you a member of an under-served , under-represented, or marginalized group in your country of residence? (yes/no) (this question is optional – if you choose to fill it out, the response will not be shared with your fellow contestants)

  • Gender
  • Status as a single parent

If you selected “yes” to any of the categories above, please explain how being a member of this group has impacted you and your work?

I am not aggressive but an open to discuss new ideas on problem solving but I have expriences of clashes of ideas with some men who believe their ideas are the best because they are men. On the other hand I am a single mother and care for my two sons as well as other 3 youngsters I have sponsored. I work also as volunteer for some needy ones.

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Search engine

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Photo of Mekdes,Frehiwot

This is a good idea and inspiring as it includes a not for profit organizations.