How is the project set up?
Currently the estimated number of blind people within Uganda is around 1,000,000 of which 90% are located within the rural areas. 98% of blind people come from a poor background, and many including those of the old age cannot fend for themselves.
The consequence of their disabilities makes them unprivileged to basic education and or facilities and the necessities for a sustainable living.
This group of persons with visually impairment is almost excluded from physical training opportunities envisaged for self support and sustainable development.
The blind people within the rural community as a whole come up against much prejudice within their society. They face problems of marginalisation and live in abject poverty. This is not solely due to their disability but more due to social discrimination; this discrimination is due to a lack of understanding between the community as a whole and its disabled and less privileged members.
For example: - A commonly found point of view in the local communities is that blind members of the community should stay at home, it is commonly believed that blind people should not leave the house, he/she in being blind is disturbing everyday citizens by their very presence.
This issue has been a long-standing problem that needs to be addressed. Some attempt has been made by certain blind members of the community to amend this point of view through participating in bee keeping project with HIVE Uganda Limited. This shows that blind people are skilled and useful members of the community.
It is ideally good to have a common place where they could more empowerment and training in European bee keeping and other bee bye products.
Some of the blind and partially people are quite talented individuals, and could extend these to the untalented members. Also they are often with heightened awareness; developed as a result of their disability, but the key factor is that the majority lack the technical skills and opportunity/medium to create a sustainable livelihood for themselves.
Of particular importance to this project is the problem that female bind members are particularly discriminated against, not only is there the problem of marginalisation, but gender equality. This group of people is wholly regarded as useless to the community. Of course this makes the struggle to survive particularly difficult.
This project is attempting to deal with both problems, to show the local communities that person with visual impairment as well as the less privileged; male or female are of value to the community thus have the potential to contribute positively to the socio-economic development of their community.
The results anticipated from this project will influence decision makers to establish support mechanisms to persons with disabilities and the less privileged in other areas of Uganda particular and East Africa in general.
Some blind and partially sighted person are quite skillful and are willing to impart their skills and knowledge (bee keeping, honey harvesting, bee hive management, honey processing, marketing and making other bee bye products) to those unskillful members who are willing to start their bee farm. They have limited means to organise and pay for training workshops. The construction of a BRC will help reduced cost of training and financial implications of the unskillful members.
There is limited existing capacity of blind bee farmers for undertaking innovative European bee keeping, candle wax making, soap making and other bee bye products waste to improve their productivity and living conditions. The local hollow bee hive that blind people are using today give low yield to the honey produced and also provide low quality honey. But bee products from European bee hive are a superior product to any other person. The capacity to the blind bee farmers in European bee hives will help them gain more skill and extend to other new blind people who want to become bee farmers.
Donor(s) resources (financial) will be utilised for the project component(s) and activities that will produce group benefits such as construction of an economically, culturally and socially viable Bee Resource Centre (BRC) for present and future persons with visual impairment, the development of best practice for bye products of bee waste management, capacity building on blind daily mobility skills and income generation activities in Uganda and beyond.
Donor(s) resources will assist members of HIVE Uganda Ltd to develop and implement their group development strategies and other socio-economic plans to achieve poverty reduction as specified by the Millennium Development Goals
Other aims of this proposal in particular would be to ensure capacity building of HIVE Uganda members to increase the number of skilled persons with visual impairment of the group/organisation.
Through support of this project, donor(s) of project components will enable the HIVE Uganda Ltd members to provide long-term improvement of their living conditions, thus reducing poverty among group members as well as their dependence on their respective families.