During his visit to Malawi, John visited the Livingstonia Beekeepers Cooperative – the end result of a project Begun by the Raven Trust 10 years ago when John was asked to send hives from the UK so that poor widows and families could generate a little income. Instead John taught locals to make their own hives and organised the training of Hudson Chisambo who, in turn, trained others in beekeeping and production of honey with the help of a colourful little book “Bees in Central Africa” which was written by Paul Latham and translated into the local language. In 2006 the “Honey House” was built to provide a clean space to produce, bottle and label the honey ready for sale. The cooperative now has 54 members who, between them, produces 7 tons of honey last year and Hudson has become a “trainers of trainers” in demand all over Malawi and beyond.
On his way home last week, John stopped off in Kenya at the request of a charity working there, to visit a community who would like to do the same as the Livingstonia group and advise them. He explained how they could progress with simple tools and equipment. Paul Latham’s book has already been printed in Swahili – the local language – and, it is hoped, that Hudson might also be able to visit to train and advise.