As part of a 5-year strategic plan, Australia Awards Papua New Guinea alumni Henao Longgar continues to share her beekeeping and entrepreneurial experience with youth in need of work experience in Papua New Guinea. Working with the New Guinea Fruit Co and local church and community members, Henao recently provided a workshop aimed at demonstrating the process, skills and materials needed for maintaining a successful apiary that can be realised as an economic opportunity with a high earning potential.

Henao is connecting young families and youth with the expansion goals of the New Guinea Fruit Co.  and the church community where the apiary is located, to partner in beekeeping and honey production that in time will sustain itself financially and support other farming activities. This multi-pronged approach not only provides information on beekeeping skills but connects the necessary stakeholders for an economic outcome.

(Left) Henao Longgar of the New Guinea Fruit Co. leads a workshop at Seigu United Church in early June 2021. (Right) Henao and Filton load boxes for the apiary.

On her journey Henao shares, “I’m very grateful to have been a part of the Australian Awards. After returning back for me inspiring and motivating others has been my drive to change mindsets. Imparting to others what I learned and seeing the change they make enables me to think that I’ve made a positive impact in my community.”

Henao demonstrates that beekeeping is an ideal activity to provide valuable work experience for youth and families. After the initial hurdle of the start up cost of materials, the returns are high with these investments recouped usually following the first harvest. With many of the youth seeking employment at office jobs that require 3-5 years experience, the barrier to enter into beekeeping and earn regular income right away while gaining business experience, is encouragingly low. Henao’s goals for the coming years include increasing the hive number to 30, providing regular youth employment, encouraging all-age group employment with a special concentration on women, and increasing the projects sustainability.