THE DISTRICT International Service Chairman Sandra Wood was the guest speaker at the last meeting of the Inner Wheel Club of Droitwich Spa.
She was welcomed, along with the club’s members, by President Glenys Griffiss.
Sandra gave an insight into the work of the charity ‘Bees Abroad’ which is a small UK registered charity seeking to reduce poverty through beekeeping.
The charity employs one member of staff and numerous unpaid volunteers and the Archbishop of Canterbury is a trustee.
The Batwa tribe was evicted from the Bwindi Rainforest in Uganda in 1980 to protect the mountain gorillas.
The government provided no land or support following the eviction.
The charity offers training and support in beekeeping skills including making hives and protective clothing from local materials.
A total of 60 hives have been provided and the pygmies can make their own African hives which are different in shape from British hives.
The honey is collected from bees in the rainforest and is sold to local villages and to the many visitors to the gorilla reserve.
Bees Abroad help with the marketing and the income is used for food, medicine and education.
District 6 of Inner Wheel, which includes the Droitwich Spa branch, is sponsoring a project to support three groups of Batwa pygmies who live as hunter gatherers.
They do not understand money and cannot read and write – the district hopes to raise £2,830 and the project is expected to last two to three years.
By five years, it is hoped the project with be self-sustaining.