Vision & Background of the Kafakumba Training Center

The Kafakumba Training Center was born inadvertently from the harsh realities of Central Africa...


Poverty.
Disease.
Suffering.
Hopelessness.

All incredibly obvious throughout the region, but poorly understood and hard to rectify. Governments, non-governmental organizations, and church groups spend billions on relief, but very little ever changes. Why?

Because handouts don't work. They discourage people from rising above a poverty mentality, and they don't provide any revenue-generating skills. If a society is ever going to be transformed, education and empowerment must play key roles.

With this in mind, John and Kendra Enright built the Kafakumba Training Center in 1999, just outside Ndola, Zambia. They'd had great success in various industries and ministries in the Congo going back to 1973. So when they moved to Zambia, they used their experience and knowledge to create infrastructure and activities in and around Kafakumba.

Today, the Enrights have a flourishing pastor's school and Women's Empowerment Center. They also partner with Zambians on a number of economic development projects, including: woodworking, aloe vera and banana plantations, fish farming, cattle rearing, bee keeping and chicken farming. These enterprises are powerfully changing tens of thousands of lives. A region that once boasted the worst statistics in HIV/AIDS, poverty, crime, infant mortality and other life-threatening issues is now flourishing with...


Bumbles
Some of the hundreds of cows at Kafakumba. They are raised and donated to feed kids in the nearby villages.
The woodworkers at Kafakumba create trusses, doors, chairs, flooring and cabinets that get shipped all over the continent.
Kafakumba's aloe vera is widely and successfully used to boost immunity in HIV/AIDS patients.
Here a young man is tending the tilapia fry before they're placed in the outdoor fish ponds to grow to maturity.
Some of the many fish ponds used to grow tilapia, a fantastic source of protein in an area that needs it desperately.
It's a joy to see giggling, hopeful ladies as they line up each morning to purchase wholesale bananas. They take them to surrounding villages and sell them retail.
They have developed a feed using propolis from the bee hives that cause the chicks to grow much faster than conventional feed and with no harmful additives or inhumane practices.
Kafakumba can sleep/feed up to 600 guests in these guest houses.
There is no conference facility in Zambia such as this. It can seat up to 1,000 people and is completely free of charge. It gets fully booked within a few days of registration for the following calendar year.
Making the swarm boxes that attract the bees.
Bee hives with a special hanging design which prevents ants from infiltrating.
Life.
Hope.
Industry.
Abundance.

Drive through the area surrounding Kafakumba and you can sense a difference. A quick chat with the locals confirms this. So many, once downtrodden and hopeless, are actively engaged in life!

One of the most significant and impactful branches of Kafakumba is its honey operation. Historically, the most popular technique for collecting the sweet nectar was "bark hiving." In this process, villagers harvest honey from a naturally formed tree hive, but usually end up destroying its host at the same time. This is an unsustainable practice that results in inconsistent harvests.

When the Enrights saw this opportunity, they acted.

In 2010, they secured a grant from the German government and formed Kafakumba's Bee Sweet Honey Company. By February 2012, Bee Sweet had manufactured 7,000 state-of-the-art "top bar" beehives, resulting in a 2012 harvest of 20 tons of honey from just 700 of those hives!

That's great news for the locals, as honey is a staple of the Zambian diet. More importantly, dozens of woodworking jobs were created. In the next few years, an additional 18,000 hives will be built and inhabited. This will impact thousands of lives, as numerous bee-keeping careers will be launched as a result.

Bee Sweet does much more than create jobs. It trains each family where to place their hives for the best honey creation. It also assists them in cleaning and maintaining their hives and harvesting the honey semiannually. Bee Sweet then pays each family for their honey, processes it, and sells it through local and regional markets. Plans for sales expansion into European and North American markets are under way.

This cyclical model allows Zambian villagers to partner with Bee Sweet. Empowerment and income are the natural byproducts. Once a family has proved its reliability, Bee Sweet gives them additional hives, expanding villagers' income even further.

Kafakumba Training Center's ultimate goal is to use empowerment to duplicate itself throughout Central Africa. When the Enrights speak of empowerment, they mean teaching, training, financial investment, successful business creation and synergistic working relationships.

We wrote "Bumbles...Finds Her Way Home!" to share with every reader the outstanding impact the Enrights and their supporters are having on the lives of thousands of Zambians.

We hope you've been inspired!


About the Lundus

Edwin Lundu was one of the fortunate kids in Zambia: he attended school.

Until grade nine that is, when he had to drop out to tend the family farm. Through his teens, 20s and 30s, he eked out a living as a small-scale farmer with no real hope for a better future. In his mid-30s, he married Bridget and, in time, they had three kids. They all survived on their tiny vegetable garden. The Lundus consumed most of the food they produced and sold the excess for about $20 a month.

Poverty and hunger were their constant companions.

In 2008, their luck changed. Edwin heard about Kafakumba's honey program and expressed an interest in the work. Bee Sweet took Edwin on as a pupil, and Horst, the head of the honey operation, taught him the art of beekeeping. Like all new keepers at Bee Sweet, Edwin was given five beehives to start, but he was such a gifted beekeeper that he was soon running 40 beehives of his own. As the honey program matures, that number will continue to increase!

Shortly after Edwin embarked on his new venture, he was recognized as a leader in the Luankuni area. He was selected by this local group of beekeepers to be their supervisor. Today, Edwin keeps very busy tending his farm and his beehives, and makes daily rounds to teach and help other beekeepers with their bee-keeping businesses. Mrs. Lundu helps Edwin harvest, clear and maintain their hives; works the family farm; and raises the children. They are a happy and prosperous family and strong leaders in their community.

What a marked contrast from their lives as poverty-stricken sustenance farmers! Not only do they provide for their family from the garden and the sale of excess food, they also receive about $150 a month for Edwin's managerial work. His pay is based on 10 percent of the honey produced among his beekeepers, so this amount will increase considerably as the honey project expands. In addition to Edwin's management income, the Lundus receive money from Bee Sweet, which also purchases their honey in bulk, processes it, bottles it, and sells it wholesale to local retailers.

In 2012, the Lundu's honey generated approximately $1,200 of personal income. Combined with their other revenue sources mentioned above, the Lundus are considered a wealthy family by Zambian standards, and an extremely wealthy family in the eyes of local villagers.

When Edwin was asked what the beekeeping business meant to him, he said, "It is perfect. It has changed everything in my life for the better."

And that's what it's all about.


About Lori, Frances & Bumbles

Bumbles
Fosi showing the village ladies how to melt beeswax over coal.
John & Kendra joining in on the fun!
Frances demonstrating how to make sand mould candles. The translator is on the left and Patricia on the right.
Fosi teaching the villagers the art of lip/body balm making.
Patricia teaching the villagers the art of candle-making.
The translator getting in on the production fun!

The idea for the children’s book series about Bumbles the Bee was born after our trip to the Central African country of Zambia. In 2011, we travelled there to bring the ladies of Kafakumba a skill that would empower them and their families with a new source of income.

We noticed several things when we’d previously visited the area: Many people in the surrounding villages live without electricity, so candles are crucial; Kafakumba has a prolific honey-making business, and literally tons of excess beeswax are produced in the process; and the Catholic Church in Africa only allows the burning of beeswax candles in its basilicas and cathedrals. Since Zambia is 25 percent Catholic, we decided to teach the villagers to use the excess beeswax to create a product they could easily sell.

So we taught them the art of candle making.

When we touched down in Zambia, we were excited to share our supplies and knowledge. We brought essential candle-making ingredients: molds of various shapes and sizes, wicks, informational packets, and seed money (which could be used to buy a stove and necessary supplies). We then held two candle-making demonstrations. The first was for leaders previously identified who would carry out the vision when we left. The second session was amazing. Three of the leaders presented the information to the broader group of villagers. We were astounded when the translator, supplied by the Ndola Business Development Center, described the detail with which Patrica, Theresa and Fosi taught the ladies in their local Bemba language. It was a beautiful time of love and empowerment, and the ladies of Kafakumba were left with a skill they could now use to earn a living.