Empowering Vulnerable Communities through Beekeeping and Experiential Learning

Photo from tanzania beekeeping trip.

Build on the work of UB study abroad students, cultivating community empowerment through beekeeping

Project description

For people in peri-urban spaces and rural areas of less developed nations, beekeeping is quickly becoming a profitable agricultural practice. Beekeeping offers a food source with high nutritional value that is otherwise lacking in traditional diets. It is particularly well-suited to rural areas with a nearly endless supply of pollen and bees supporting organic cross-pollination of nearby crops. Apiculture and honey production have enormous potential for cultivation in Tanzania, particularly In Mwanza, due to the abundance of nectar and pollen. Although this industry is still in its infancy, it offers exciting economic, nutritional and environmental benefits to nearby communities and exciting opportunities to engage local students and youth through Experiential Learning and community development.

In Tanzania and throughout much of Africa, young people, including those enrolled and recently graduated from colleges and universities, are pervasively un and underemployed, and struggle to gain high-value skills, competencies and experiences that can lead to jobs or employment. Accordingly, by engaging local college students from St. Augustine University (Mwanza Tanzania) in beekeeping and related activities, project leaders from CLAO (Community Life Amelioration Organization) seek to cultivate broader impacts related to the following UN Sustainable Development Goals and targets.

SDG #10: Reduced inequalities within and among countries

10.2 By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status

SDG #8: Decent work and economic growth

8.6:  By 2020, substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training

SDG #17: Partnership for the goals

17.17 Encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships.

Through a 2023 Winter Session study abroad course co-led by UB faculty member Chris Romano and Empire State College faculty member Dr. Dan Nyaronga, students worked with CLAO to construct 10 beehives, laying the foundation for this project. UB students are invited to collaborate with CLAO and students from St. Augustine University to continue to build capacity around this exciting initiative.

Project outcome

This project seeks to support development around the 10 hives established on the St. Augustine University of Tanzania’s forest land. These hives, along with the first training of students and local community, will serve as a platform for training and support of up to 500 students and local individuals interested in beekeeping each year.

The primary goals of this initiative are thus twofold:

  1. to create a new source of income for the university and surrounding local community
  2.  to reduce poverty through the teaching and assistance of students and local people in the practice of beekeeping

UB students who wish to support this initiative and associated goals and targets will be paired with St. Augustine students for collaborative projects and engagement. Individual projects will be customized to support strategic needs while also supporting UB student goals and interests.

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment Semester-long engagement
Start time Spring or Summer
In-person, remote, or hybrid?
Level of collaboration Small group
Benefits Academic Credit, Volunteer, Work Study
Who is eligible Junior or senior level students

Core partners

Project mentor

Mara Huber

Associate Dean, Undergraduate Research and Experiential Learning; Director, Experiential Learning Network

127 Capen Hall

Phone: (716) 829-2834

Email: mbhuber@buffalo.edu

Start the project

Please note that opportunities to work with global NGO partners are limited and based on partners' indicated needs and preferences.  If you would like to be considered for a global NGO project, send an interest email to ubeln@buffalo.edu with the following information and one of our staff will respond with more information via email :  

  • Share relevant background information about yourself and why you are interested in working with the specific NGO partner
  • What specific skills or experiences are relevant to the needs of the NGO partner?
  • Attach a current resume or cv 
  • Indicate your availability to work on an NGO project and whether you plan to connect your engagement with a particular course or requirement 

Note that all ELN projects require a UB mentor. The ELN team can help you identify an appropriate mentor but it will be your responsibility to secure a mentor before beginning a project.

Preparation activities

The specific preparation activities for this project will be customized through discussions between you and your project mentor. Please be sure to ask them for the instructions to complete the required preparation activities.