It is a hot January afternoon in Imvepi refugee settlement in Arua district, home to almost 80,000 South Sudanese refugees.
Twenty-year-old Alison John and other fellow students, both refugees and locals, are busy making beehives out of timber. While they are still making their final touches, a buyer is already waiting to purchase their products. A nearby apiary farm has been purchasing all the beehives produced during the training.
Beekeeping is good business in this part of Uganda. Honey goes for as much as 16,000 shillings per litter (4 EUR). The demand is high. The honey from Arua is sold at supermarkets in Kampala and even exported abroad. Ever since John joined the training, organized by the Belgian development agency Enabel under the Support programme for Refugees and Host Communities in Northern Uganda (SPRS-NU), financed from the European Emergency Trust Fund (EUTF), he started seeing a brighter future for himself and his family.
After his father died a few years ago, Alison John, being the oldest son, became the head of the household. In 2017, when the war engulfed his home area of Yei (a city in South Sudan), he fled with his sick mother and younger brother to Uganda. But life at the settlement was difficult at first. He found it hard to depend on UNHCR for basic things like food and water.“I wanted to acquire skills that would help me to earn a living, not only here in the settlement but also after I return home,” he said.
At the end of the training, Alison John and his colleagues will receive start-up kits to enable them to set up their own business. They were also equipped with entrepreneurial skills to ensure that the businesses started are well managed.
Enabel delivered the training in close partnership with Tornado, the umbrella organization coordinating the beekeeping sector in Uganda and Oxfam. The project aims to equip almost 10,000 South Sudanese and Ugandan youth with skills that will help them generate an income for themselves and their families.
- Publication date
- 8 May 2019
- Region and Country
- Greater economic and employment opportunities
- ENABEL - Belgian Development Agency