“Since this is a trading centre, people who keep bees around this place usually bring their honey to sell in the market. So, when I heard about Honey Pride Arua, they told me you buy honey, that is when I reached your offices. So now I aggregate honey from the small bee keepers around my village and sell to you….”.
The Life as Beekeeper
Who belongs to your family / who is living with you?
My name is Sojo Pandelewo. I’m married and I have 4 children. So, we are 6 in the family.
What motivated you to start bee keeping?
I was born in this situation. Because of my disability status, my parents did not bother to send me to school. So, I grew up under very difficult conditions. Because of my condition, my parents literally abandoned me. Along the way, I had to find ways of survival. With the help of sympathetic friends, I was able to learn elementary metal welding. This is now my occupation. Besides welding, I also sell bicycle spare parts in the trading centre to earn income to support his family. Since this is a trading centre, people who keep bees around this place
usually bring their honey to sell in the market. So, when I heard about Honey Pride Arua, they told me you buy honey, that is when I reached your offices. So now I aggregate honey from the small bee keepers around my village and sell to you. When you agreed to work with me, I was very happy and motivated. Now people know that I buy honey, so they bring it to me and buy and sell to you
How has beekeeping changed your life?
This is now 3 years since I started selling honey to Honey Pride Arua. You can see, my welding and spare parts business in working. I also own a small retail shop that is being managed my one of my sons. So, I am able to afford basic necessities. Compared to many disabled persons around here, I am far much better. I don’t go to beg from people. I struggle on my own. Thank you for supporting me.
How do you provide a good environment for your bees?
What do trees mean to you and how can they be protected?
Trees are important. When it is very hot, they provide shade. Like mangoes give us fruits. So, trees are good. We should plant more.
What is the most important thing in your life?
Hard work. For example, if I was not hard working, I would not manage life. Since my parents abandoned me and did not send me to school, it would have been very hard. So, the most important thing in my life is hard work.
What are your biggest challenges and how do you plan to overcome them?
My biggest challenge in life is mobility. With my condition, I need someone to help me always – carry me on a motorbike or onto a car etc. But one of my sons does that for me. That boy is like the flesh of my teeth. And the other challenge is lack of capital. Here, there are opportunities to do business, but I lack adequate capital. So, to overcome this, I have to struggle hard. There is no other way. May be if you can support me, I would be very grateful.
What do you like to do in your free time?
For me there is no free time. If I am not at home, then I am here at the small business. Many people need my service here. May be if I am sick.
Which place would you like to see once?
Now, where can I go?? I have not gone to school, so I don’t think of going anywhere else. I’m just here.