Tsuma has worked hard to grow his beekeeping business and become the “best entrepreneur in the area.”
In May, we shared a story about a man named Tsuma, who is one of the village leaders in Gona, Kenya. He had offered the precious gift of a chicken to Feed The World’s Director of Operations, Lonny Ward, in gratitude for the lessons he had been taught about sustainable agriculture and beekeeping. Humbled by the generous gift, but knowing that a chicken could not be easily taken on a plane back to the United States, Lonny had suggested that the gift be “paid forward” to someone else. Tsuma gifted the chicken to another villager, and taught that person how to properly care for it. (See “Pay It Forward: Self-Reliance and the Gift of a Chicken”)
When this story was posted on the blog, we received a large response from many of you, so today we have an update about Tsuma, his beekeeping business, and the success of his village projects. This is just one of the many great success stories that demonstrate the lasting benefits of Feed The World’s unique model of self reliance.
Lonny visited Tsuma in July, and reported that with education, mentoring, and a lot of hard work, Tsuma has grown his beekeeping and honey business to 32 hives and become the “best entrepreneur in the area.” He uses two beehive designs – hollow log hives (pictured below), and beehive boxes (pictured above).
Besides growing his beekeeping business with such great success, Tsuma has worked hard to teach and lead others in his village. His entire group has been working hard in their vegetable gardens, and harvested a bountiful crop of kale, spinach, tomatoes, okra, corn, and other vegetables.
This has provided their families plenty of nutritious food, and large quantities of extra vegetables to sell in the market. The villagers have been taught by Feed The World staff how to dry their kale for later use, and discovered that if they sell it during the dry season, they can get twice the price for it. The proceeds from their vegetable sales have helped the families be able to afford school fees for their children and set up a group bank account.
Tsuma and his group have set their sights on a new project to grow fruit trees and learn drip irrigation for better water efficiency. Under Tsuma’s leadership and Feed The World staff mentoring, the lives of the villagers in Gona, Kenya are being transformed. They have learned that with a little bit of knowledge and a lot of hard work, they can lift themselves out of poverty and forever break the cycle of dependence.