The Women Empowerment through Honey Bee Farming Project was initiated in 2007 to empower women in the Northern areas of Pakistan by expanding home-based entrepreneurship opportunities for them. The rationale for choosing honey bee farming was that it was already being practiced in the area, albeit on small scale without ample marketing opportunities. Further, the area affords an abundance of flora which is used by bees for production of honey. Our field teams conducted extensive consultations with the local communities, especially women, and they welcomed the initiative.

The project addresses the discrepancy between the income earned by male and female beekeepers by educating women in beekeeping and linking them to profitable markets. Furthermore, the project improves the status of women in their communities, as they become more integrated in the decision- making process within male-dominated societies.

The project is based on a system of social barter, designed to promote social change. HF agrees to buy the women beekeepers’ honey and successfully links them to the lucrative markets in Pakistan, provided that the families agree to send their children to quality schools, have regular health check-ups and improve nutrition at home. The buying price is negotiated with the producers each year and it takes into consideration factors like opportunity cost, bulk-purchase, packaging cost and final sale price. The honey buyers include PIA, Serena Hotels, Supermarkets, PC Hotels and Marriott Hotels.

The project has allowed its beneficiaries to increase their income, hence, bringing a positive change in their standard and quality of life.
The project has served as a sustainable social-business model which uses a multi-sector approach and promotes women as the means of their own economies. Women that participated in the project have gone on to hold key leadership positions within the local Honey Bee Associations. They say that now they feel more socially integrated in a male-dominated enterprise, primarily because the project addressed the discrepancy between male and female beekeepers.

BBC World Challenge

In December 2008, the project was voted the winner of the prestigious BBC World Challenge 08, among 700 organizations worldwide. World Challenge is a global competition aimed at recognizing projects that have shown enterprise and innovation at the grass root level. It was organized by BBC World News and Newsweek, in association with Shell.This is the first ever project from Pakistan to be highlighted at such a forum. The prize money was utilized for buying a processing unit to increase the production capacity of honey and also to improve its branding for both local and international markets.Achievements:
The project has served to bring about considerable improvement in the socio-economic status of the local communities, particularly women. The following are a few indicators of the same:

Around 30% beneficiaries have expanded their honey bee farming business.
More than a 1000 children (600 boys & 400 girls) are attending school as a result of this project. Bee keepers are spending 60% of their income from honey bee farming on education of their children, 10% on better nutrition for their families and 30% on healthcare expenses.
Hashoo Foundation has facilitated the beneficiaries by selling 31,000 kilograms of honey produced by them between 2007-2011
There has been a 32% income increase in an average household as a result of the sale of honey
With the intervention of HF, the production of honey has increased from 16 to 18 kg. per hive
80% of the honey producers are associated with the Northern Areas Honey Bee Keepers Welfare Association (NAHBKWA) and President of the association is women.
So far HF has trained 642 beekeepers in bee keeping in Gilgit-Baltistan and KPK.
642 are direct beneficiaries (honey producers) and approximately 5000 plus dependents are benefiting from honey project.

Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)

The project was featured and highlighted during the poverty alleviation session at the 2007 Clinton Global Initiative. Then again in 2008, it was selected from amongst more than 1,000 organizations, as one of the four “Featured Commitments” on the CGI website during its Annual Meeting.
In 2009, Hashoo Foundation participated in the fifth annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) held in New York. The event provided the Foundation with an opportunity to interact and exchange best practices with leaders in business, government, and the civil sector.  Originally aiming to reach 50 women, this Commitment has exceeded its target, training and engaging 316 women in honey bee production with a direct impact on more than 1200 dependents.

Credit and Enterprise Development

Hashoo Foundation USA initiated the Credit and Enterprise Development (CED) program, through which the Foundation facilitates and administers provisions of small loans to  existing and  new beekeepers  to add another dimension to its “Women Empowerment  through Honey Bee Farming” project – Plan Bee. These small loans are enabling the women beekeepers to purchase more hives to achieve economies of scale and expand their enterprises the sources of micro-credit loans include University of St. Thomas Microcredit Program, Owl Microfinance at Rice University, and Microfinance Initiative at the University of Houston.
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This particularly aims at:

Conducting regular market research for identification of vocational training needs, organizing and conducting structured vocational training and arranging successful market placements. The trainings comprised of ‘hotel management’ and ‘culinary arts’. Various beauty workshops were also organized for women interested to pursue the industry as a career or simply apply the art and knowledge for their economic empowerment. Other interests were also catered to like the art and technicalities of stitching and embroidery, also training of computers

.Vocational Training P1030666 P1030670 P1030682 P1030687 P1030695 P1030696 P1030697 P1030703 P1030706 P1030707 P1030708 P1030723


HF SCHOOLS P1030552 P1030554 P1030557 P1030561 P1030566 P1030567 P1030568 P1030572 P1030579 P1030582 P1030585 P1030586 P1030587 P1030588 P1030594 P1030596 P1030597 P1030598 P1030604 P1030612 P1030619 P1030623 P1030624 P1030625 P1030626 P1030627 P1030629

Access to quality education is a priority for Hashoo Foundation. Since 2004, our Child Education Support Program (CESP) has contributed to improve access to quality education in some of the most isolated areas of Pakistan. Initiated in the Northern Areas, CESP provides financial support to out-of-school children. These children are identified with the help of community leaders. They are then enrolled into one of the 120 schools established by AKESP. Hashoo Foundation pays for their tuition fees and provides them with books, shoes, stationery and a uniform. The same model applies to the region of Rawalpindi.
Hashoo Foundation Schools
Hashoo Foundation also supports education facilities in the four provinces of Pakistan. The Foundation runs a network of 10 primary schools, four of which are supported by British Petroleum, under their Corporate Social Responsibility program. These schools are established in the remote and extremely poor areas where access to education – even at the primary level – is still a problem.
Early Childhood Development Training
Early Childhood Development (ECD) program is an innovative training program, which focuses on building the capacities of teachers to stimulate learning at a very early age. ECD involves trainees, parents and children in a holistic experience centered on the child. In a country where corporal punishment is unfortunately still commonly used in the classroom, the ECD approach employs an interactive and humane approach to teaching which involves: