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Sweet dream: Single mother embraces honey processing to escape poverty

Harriet Kayeny Pamungu, a 20 year old single mother from Padolo parish in Erussi Sub County is one of several single mothers benefiting from training in Honey processing under the SURE DEAL project, a youth economic empowerment project in West Nile sub region.

Kayeny, a Senior Two school drop out was abandoned by her husband for giving birth to a baby girl at the age of 17. 

Fortunately, she was among the youths selected at sub county level to benefit from the SURE DEAL project that is being implemented in partnership with the Uganda Small Scale Industry (USSI), with support from the European Union (EU).

The project beneficiaries were selected based on gender and age ranging from 18 to 38, with 70% being female while 30% are males venturing in skills development enterprises that are results-oriented in nature.

In a special way, project aims to transform livelihoods of young and single mothers by equipping them with market-ready skills. 

“Dream business”

Kayeny says she was inspired to attend extra trainings where she acquired additional skills in honey processing and packaging, her “dream business”.

“I have learnt that processing honey involves many procedures in order to maintain the quality of honey that can meet market demands for value addition,” Kayeny said. 

The budding entrepreneur revealed that she opted for honey processing because she already has some bee hives that are already colonized.

“I will soon start the harvest, and that would require that I process it on my own without incurring extra costs of hiring experts.”

Kayeny, who sells her honey locally under the “Erussi Organic Honey” brand, packaged in 250g and 500g tins, says quality control is her top priority at the moment, as she seeks to provide the best quality product to her clients.  

She cautioned against unscrupulous honey dealers who dilute their honey, noting that ultimately are doing themselves a disservice.

“Adding foreign water to honey drastically reduces the sugar level, which compromises the quality and taste of honey. Eventually this will affect the demand of honey in the market,” she cautioned.

Emma Oroma, a Trainer under the project, says a key component of the training is to provide youths with transferable knowledge and skills that they can share with others.

“They should be able to train other youths, especially single mothers and school dropouts, in the skills they were empowered with so as to transform their lives.”

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