Jeevika  bees

Support this life-changing honey project

Jeevika Trust, a small, Hampton Wick-based International Development charity, is appealing to the local community for help with an innovative project this Christmas. The organisation, in partnership with five carefully-selected Indian NGO partners, works to improve rural livelihoods in some of the most deprived regions of rural India through creating income generation opportunities for women and through improving access to clean water, better sanitation, better nutrition and improved healthcare for villagers.

The charity’s recently launched “Sweetest Gift” appeal aims to help marginalised and impoverished women in Odisha, Eastern India, to earn a sustainable living through beekeeping and honey production. Previous beekeeping projects implemented by Jeevika Trust have helped hundreds of women to increase their household incomes, gain a greater level of respect within society and to provide a more positive future for themselves, their families and their communities.

Director of Jeevika Trust, Andrew Redpath said: "Beekeeping is a tried and tested tool for markedly improving the lives of women and their families in village India. We’ve run some very successful beekeeping and honey-marketing projects in the past with fantastic results.

“Unfortunately, this year the UK government terminated its main aid programme to India which has had a big impact on our work. DfID funded our original beekeeping project and our plans to expand it with their help have been stalled while we seek alternative funding. That’s why we are looking first to our local community to help us roll this project out; we’ve already identified the villages and the women who would benefit most but the truth is that we just don’t have the funds to help them.

“When people think of poverty, I don’t think they think of India. Africa always steals the headlines but the hard truth is that India, particularly rural India, is the world’s biggest single poverty trap with over a quarter of a billion people living officially below the poverty line. People don’t realise that, despite the fact that India has a space programme and a growing number of billionaires, it is also home to a quarter of the world’s undernourished population, over a third of the world’s underweight children and nearly a third of the world’s food-insecure people. That’s shocking, and we can’t sit back and do nothing.

“I’m appealing to everyone in the local community to get behind us and support our “Sweetest Gift” campaign. £2,500 will help us to expand our beekeeping project to another village, not only benefitting the women who take part in the project, but, as a result, their children, families and their communities as a whole. We know that Christmas is an expensive time and that we’re one of thousands of good causes asking for donations over the festive period, but we operate on the principle of ‘Small is Beautiful’, whose author E.F.Schumacher was our founder back in 1970, so every little can make a very big difference to the lives of some of India’s most marginalised and discriminated-against women."

More Information

  • To support Jeevika Trust’s “Sweetest Gift” appeal, please text SWEE70 £5 (or the amount of your choice, up to £10) to 70070
  • visit www.justgiving.com/sweetestgift to make a donation of any amount.
  • To find out more about Jeevika Trust or this appeal, please call 0208 973 3773, email Lucy Ferrier on lucy@jeevika.org.uk, or visit www.jeevika.org.uk