Community Initiative Support Services (CISS) is a not for profit non-governmental organization that was set up in 1979. CISS has had developmental projects in the Western Kenya in many areas including Primary Health Care, Micro-finance, HIV AIDS and currently, improving the social economic status of PLHIVs (People Living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus).
In February 2006, Bread for the World visited CISS projects with a group of Ladies from LandfrauenverbandBaden-Württemberg who on return sent donations to support the groups that the ladies had visited. Based on the report on how the gift was used to assist the group members engage in income generating activities like purchasing indigenous goats and chicken a relationship between Landfrauenverband Baden – Württenberg and CISS developed. The cooperation has enabled members of the group especially those living with HIV/AIDS to be supported in raising dairy goats, manufacture and sale of smoke reducing fireplace liners and paper and glass beads.
In November 2011 with support from Landfrauenverband Baden Württenberg bee farming amongst the group was initiated. From the outcomes of the initial activities the venture was considered economically viable and particularly appropriate for PLHIVs due to low labour demands. In December 2012 a proposal to upscale the project for a period of 1 year was presented to Landfrauenverband Baden Württenberg who approved and supported the same beginning January 2013 to December 2013.
The bee keeping project is designed to address the project areas’ noted concerns such as high food insecurity, poverty as well as lack of alternative source of income especially among the PLWHs. There is ready market for pure homemade honey and the project intends to exploit this opportunity.
The money received from the sale of honey would help meet other household needs. The project is ongoing with honey being processed and packaged at CISS Siaya office.