April buzzing about African charity project

PUBLISHED: 14:59 02 June 2015 | UPDATED: 14:59 02 June 2015

April Preston, who has travelled to Tanzania to build beehives for Farm Africa.

April Preston, who has travelled to Tanzania to build beehives for Farm Africa.

Archant

A Budleigh businesswoman has travelled to Tanzania to help a charity aiming to end hunger in eastern Africa.

April Preston, 47, will be working with Farm Africa to help build beehives in the country’s Nou Forest, near Mount Kilimanjaro.

Along with eight other women working in the UK food industry, April will be constructing 90 beehives in three days, which can then be used by the locals to kick-start sustainable farming businesses.

April (pictured right), a group director at 2 Sisters Food Group, said: “I know that there will be many differences between my life and those of people in Tanzania, but underneath I feel that people are the same.

“They want to improve their lives and their children’s futures.

“It’s about building something sustainable, supporting people’s livelihoods.

“This is a forest project and I am a massive supporter of trying to stop deforestation.

“Having been brought up on a small family dairy farm in Devon, I am used to rural life and hope my hands-on experience there will stand me in good stead when it comes to building the beehives.

“Of course I am expecting blisters and broken nails, but that’s a small price to pay for taking part in such an exciting challenge.”

A Farm Africa spokesman said: “The forest is home to millions of bees, and beekeeping is a forest-friendly business that enables communities to make money without cutting down more trees.

“But for women the traditional-style beehives, situated high in the trees, are inaccessible as it’s not culturally acceptable to climb trees.

“That’s why Farm Africa has introduced the Langstroth beehive, a type of that can be placed on the ground and used by women.

“Harvesting the precious honey will bring the women a new and valuable source of income that will enable them to pay for clothes, medicines and school fees for their children.”

Along with building beehives, the team is also tasked with raising £50,000 for Farm Africa.

Visit www.justgiving.com/teams/bigbeehivebuild.

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