Support Local NGO in Beekeeping Techniques

Activity/project background

Partner: Gurmuu Development Association (Local NGO)

Horo Guduru Wollega Zone is found in Oromia Region of Ethiopia and comprises 13 districts. The Zone is commonly covered with natural vegetation, shrubs, annual, and perennial crops suitable for beekeeping and honey production. Since 2013, Gurmuu Development Association (Gurmuu) has been working with communities from five districts of Horo Guduru Wollega Zone to develop apiary management and market access skills. Since then, many successes have been achieved in terms of honey production and bee product diversification.

Though the efforts in beekeeping development made by Gurmuu for the last 10 years have been successful, there are still gaps in skills such as: poor post-harvest handling, storage, and packaging; limited technical, business management and entrepreneurial skills; limited coordination between beekeeping and crop production activities such as weed and pest control measures that use chemicals that adversely affect honey bees; weak market linkages and business plans for bee products; and limited documentation of best practices.

Gurmuu is seeking to collaborate with a Virtual Service Pilot Participant (VSPP) to improve the aforementioned issues. Based on the technical and management needs identified, the VSPP will prepare a beekeeper practical hand guide or manual that encompasses the basics of beekeeping from transitional hive making and production techniques to marketing that can be translated to Afan Oromo by Gurmuu and then disseminated to farmers. The manual will also capture or document farmers’ best practices that can be used as a model practice to provide real life experience to beekeepers.

Gurmuu has not previously worked with a Peace Corps Volunteer or a Virtual Service Pilot Participant. They understand that the role of a VSPP is very different than a two-year Volunteer.

Virtual service engagement and tasks

The VSPP will engage in the following tasks, in collaboration with their Host Country Partners:
• Conduct a literature review of available beekeeping and bee product care and marketing
• Co-develop a beekeeper practical handguide or manual that can be used by staff and beekeepers to respond to the following needs: improve bee product quality, post-harvest handling, processing, storage, and packaging; enhance business management skills and limited entrepreneurial practices; strengthening the coordination with crop production activities such as weed and pest control measures; creation of sustainable market linkage for bee products; and that document best practices for beekeeping and bee products
• Provide training of trainers to staff members using the handguide or manual

This engagement is expected to be approximately 20 weeks. VSPPs are expected to engage on the tasks listed above for an estimated 5-15 hours per week.

Meetings between VSPPs and Host Country Counterparts will take place during normal office hours, Ethiopia time. Specific times will be determined during orientation.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to Zoom, WhatsApp, and email for regular communication and collaboration.

Per the Child Protection Code of Conduct, when engaging online with minors (0-18), two adults must be present.

Optional additional activities

The Peace Corps mission is to promote world peace and friendship by fulfilling three goals:

  1. To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
  2. To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
  3. To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

Goal 1 will be achieved through the VSPP's engagement and completion of the above tasks. The counterpart and VSPP may also choose to identify an activity that aligns with Goal 2. Additionally, the VSPP may identify a Goal 3 activity to implement during their engagement. See recommendations and tools for Goal 3 activities.

Essential qualifications

Education: Bachelor’s degree in any field

Experience: Experience in beekeeping and honeybee product management

Intercultural skills and motivation: Flexible, strong cross-cultural agility, high tolerance for ambiguity, able to work independently, resourceful, creative, and genuinely motivated and capable to serve virtually

Desired qualifications

Education: Bachelor's degree in agriculture, horticulture, agronomy, agricultural economics or related field

Technical Skills: Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication

Language: Basic Afaan Oromo

Experience: 2 years’ experience in beekeeping and honeybee product management

Terms and conditions of engagement

VSPPs will be engaging with the host country partner, in coordination with Peace Corps post staff, remotely from the US. They should have access to a computer, internet, and telephone in order to enable direct engagement with the Peace Corps overseas office and the Host Country Counterpart assigned by the host country partner.

Orientation with the host country partner will be provided, within the designated virtual service hours, during the first week of virtual service via an online presentation and discussion. The host country partner will provide an overview of its organization, the local context, and how they envision collaborating with the VSPP.

The VSPP will have regular check-ins with their counterpart and bi-weekly check-ins with Peace Corps staff. Spending unstructured time with counterparts can be critical to relationship-building and is encouraged through activities such as coffee chats and informal calls within the weekly 5-15 hours.

Engagement-specific safety and security

The VSPP will receive an orientation on Peace Corps’ Child Protection Policy and how it relates to online engagement along with IT security best practices. The VSPP will be expected to follow safety and security guidelines for online engagement to ensure their safety and that of the Host Country Partner and their counterpart, and any beneficiaries of the engagement.

Supervision requirements

The VSPP will report to a designated Peace Corps staff member. The VSPP will be expected to abide by the Virtual Service Pilot Participant and Donation Agreement and Participant Principles of Engagement. The VSPP will also be expected to check in with the designated host country counterpart as assigned by the host county partner.

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