Beekeepers for Christ Sending Beekeeping Supplies to Uganda
Posted on August 11, 2011
Eugene, Ore. -- Beekeepers for Christ announced today that it is sending a shipment of beekeeping equipment to Uganda in August. The equipment is going to the Blessed Bee for Life trading post to help the local people become sustainable beekeepers. Contributions have been received from Oregon Electric for the cost of the electrical panel and equipment, Blaser Trailers and the Trailer Manufacturer donated the trailer to transport the equipment. Beekeepers for Christ is providing a generator, tools, wooden ware, and table saw, along with other equipment to complete the final phase of aid to “Blessed Bee for Life”, a ministry and beekeeping education center begun by a Ugandan native with assistance from Beekeepers for Christ. The equipment and tools being sent are intended to help the people be able to produce their own beekeeping equipment so as not to rely on imported goods.
Beekeepers for Christ began as a result of a trip in 2003 to Uganda, with Dick Turanski, founder of GloryBee® Foods, and his friend Dan Mayer. They were working with “Here is Life” and the Evangelical School of Technology, and called themselves “Beekeepers for Christ.” The conditions they found in the northern area of Uganda known as the Yumbe district were heartbreaking. The land and people were devastated by years of civil war. Poverty was extreme, as people had no way to make a living. Today, very little agriculture exists in the area, and most of the food is imported, so food prices are extremely high. Problems such as disease and famine are only made worse by the lack of medical facilities and schools. The goals of the Beekeepers for Christ project were to bring beekeeping to the indigenous Arringan people of Northern Uganda so that they would have a way to produce food and improve their living situation by selling the honey they produced.
Since the original visit in 2003, Beekeepers for Christ has supported the people in the Yumbe District of Uganda with funds to build a church, provided beekeeping tools and equipment, and assisted in teaching beekeeping. However, this effort has not allowed for the self-sufficiency that has been the hope of the mission since the beginning. Limited access to tools and equipment have limited the growth of the fledgling beekeeping industry. In the communities they visited, hand tools were being used to build beehives, and a great amount of manual labor went into making them. “This will help the people build hives for themselves, and it helps to support St. Paul’s Church,” says Dick Turanski. Having the necessary equipment to construct modern beehives will further this endeavor. Mr. Turanski and Mr. Mayer had great success with their training methods, and in a region rich in natural resources, keeping bees is an excellent means of support. Mr. Turanski says “We are looking to help people in third world countries have another income to feed themselves.” He adds “Help people and then they will listen to you.”
The Blessed Bee for Life ministry is a result of the Beekeepers for Christ partnership with a local Ugandan man named Mophart Maffu. Mr. Maffu is an Arringan man who wanted to help his people by generating income raising honey bees. Beekeepers for Christ founders and Mophart have worked together to make this business/ministry a success. There is now a Blessed Bee for Life Trading Post and community church. There have been additional trips made to educate the local people on beekeeping, and they are on the way to being self-sustainable.
About Beekeepers for Christ
The concept for Beekeepers for Christ resulted from an opportunity to teach beekeeping in Uganda. Dick Turanski and Dan Mayer were invited to join a mission to Uganda to teach beekeeping at the school in ESTA for "Here is Life" (HIL). At the heart of their ministry is the desire to use beekeeping not just as a vocational teaching tool, but also an opportunity to share Christ. Funds are still needed help offset the vat tax and shipping costs to get these supplies to the Blessed Bee for Life facility. If you are interested in contributing, please contact Dick Turanski at GloryBee Foods or send contributions to: Beekeepers for Christ, P.O. Box 2744, Eugene, OR 97402.