Why Ghana?….. and what next?
A bit of background on this trip to Ghana…the Bee Downtown Foundation has always done work in local school systems, but about 7 months ago I was introduced to a man named Robert (Bob) Evans, who was an alumni of Duke University and an avid beekeeper. Over the past 7 months Bob has been a huge supporter of the bees, Bee Downtown, and our mission of education. Bob also has been involved with a school located in Cape Three Points, Ghana for over 10 years. Trinity Yard School is a secondary school for young adults living in Cape Three Points and another small village named Akweidaa. The founder of Trinity Yard School is named Rory Jackson and his mission behind building the school is to teach job training skills and provide apprenticeship programs for the students in areas like Batik art, drumming, weaving, and more.
About 4 months ago Bob, Rory, and I started dreaming up a way to bring a female led beekeeping program to the school. Fast forward to this week and here I am on my first day in Ghana getting ready to head out on the six hour drive from the capital, Accra to the small village of Cape Three Points located on the most western tip of Ghana.
Up until this point we have focused solely on bee education in our local community, but we feel like the bees brought us this amazing opportunity to teach about bees in a part of the world that could benefit greatly from the ability to keep bees. Since I do not know how to keep African bees, we will be working to find a local beekeeper in Ghana that will help us teach the classes later in the year. For this trip we will be doing the introductory education around bees and beekeeping, learning about the different products the bees make, trying our hand at lip balm and candle making, and leading some courses in entrepreneurship and business.
On average, a person working in the village makes $250 a month, or $3,000 a year. If Trinity Yard School had even just 20 hives in the area that made 50 pounds of honey, sold at $4 a jar, they could employ a person at $4,000 a year. If we were able to build out this program to 500 hives we could employee 10 people at $10,000 a year.
The possibilities for this project are endless, and we are so excited to begin this journey in the newest chapter of the crazy adventure that is Bee Downtown.