Emmanuel International (EI) has been working with the Tanzania Assemblies of God, with churches in the villages around the Mwanza area. EI has established a beekeeping project with the aim of seeing people reached spiritually and physically. The churches have the responsibility to oversee the progress of the project to ensure that it is a blessing in their communities’.
The beekeeping project is now working in four areas in the Mwanza region: Kayenze, Malya, Ngudu and Kome.
Mwanza region is a good place for a beekeeping project. People mostly know about keeping bees in ways which are destructive and low in standard, not caring for God’s creation. We saw this area to be the place to change people and provide them with knowledge about beekeeping so they can improve their livelihood. Still, there are some opportunities to bring beekeeping knowledge to other communities.
The Bible is the foundation of the project, together with teaching on proper beekeeping methods to the communities in Mwanza. Every time we seek to see people focus on God as the giver of life.
We are teaching on the care of creation. This is going together with the introduction of tree nurseries in the different villages with the aim to encourage the participants to look after God’s gift of creation. Bible studies are an important part of this project and we encourage the groups to be meeting regularly to study the Word of God.
We also have a plan to introduce new programs on the benefits of honey, in groups as well as in schools, and marketing which will be introduced in beekeeping training manual. This is to ensure that we are providing good beekeeping principles. This manual is to be updated as time goes on.
- Some hives have no bees. The bees are absconding due to a number of reasons, one being the problem of pests like wax moth and ants. This is happening on Kome Island – the bees absconded due to ants.
- Some insects destroyed young trees after planting. This decreased the number of trees planted. Others died during transport.
- We have failed to conduct spiritual activities in all our projects.
To address these challenges, we did the following:
- We cleaned the hives so as to make them ready to be colonized again.
- We have a plan of planting more trees on Kome and with older/more mature trees than the previous ones so as to make sure they won’t be destroyed by bad insects.
- We have a plan of preparing a training syllabus on spiritual issues to be implemented in all of our groups.
- We have conducted a tree seminar in Nyamkolechiwa on 9th December. This went together with giving them the awareness on the importance of caring for creation. It was attended by more than 20 women and a few men.
- Monitoring and evaluation: this also has been done since the beginning of the year whereby we normally contact the groups and pay a visit to see the progress of the projects.
- Practical training to the groups on tree planting. Group members have managed to plant trees on their own.
- The trees which we prepared in Ngudu village are now distributed to the group members and some are planted at church.
- We have succeeded in visiting the churches we are working with and got a chance to preach in these churches. This has helped us in building good relationship with the churches as well as understanding how to work with them, also knowing the problems and challenges facing the churches and the community at large.
As we look ahead, we plan to develop this project in the following ways:
- To start a new group on Kome island.
- Goat project in Malya village. As time went on people in Malya thought of reviving the work they are doing by introducing this project which will make lots of people join in and by that we will be touching many lives of people in a holistic view.
- Constructing more hives for Kome group. We still need hives for Kome women (Jikomboe group).
- Apiary improvement in some groups.
- To do monitoring monthly and weekly by making physical visits or phone calls so as to make sure plans are succeeding.
- To encourage the mamas of Upendo wa mama in Malya village to do a chicken project.
- To increase our knowledge on beekeeping by attending different trainings on beekeeping so as to increase productivity and see many people’s lives being transformed by beekeeping.
- Continue with educating the society on beekeeping and its benefits.
- To win many people for Christ after seeing Jesus Christ through the project and through the church.
Bees Abroad have been invaluable in the support they have given to this project in Mwanza!
“At first we used to do beekeeping in way which is bad but thanks to you (Emmanuel International) we are now known to our district government from the beekeeping project.”
“By the fruits that we are going to get we will never forget your kindness and help to us.” Mr Gerald
“It’s my first time to hear about beekeeping here. May God bless you for helping people to have something for their daily life.” Pastor George Samuel
“This is revival.” Tabitha (Upendo wa Mama group)