Plan Bee, The Hashoo Foundation, And World Challenge 08

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I got some news sent in to me about a finalist in the BBC/Newsweek World Challenge and wanted to post up on it.

What is the World Challenge '08?

Now in its fourth year, World Challenge 08 is a global competition aimed at finding projects or small businesses from around the world that have shown enterprise and innovation at a grass roots level. World Challenge 08 is brought to you by BBC World News and Newsweek, in association with Shell, and is about championing and rewarding projects and business which really make a difference. The winner will receive a grant of USD $20 000 to put back into their project/business, and two runners up will each receive USD $10 000. One representative from each of the three finalists will be flown to The Hague, The Netherlands to attend the award ceremony in December 2008.
Here's one of the finalists who sent in some information - check 'em out and put in a vote for them or anyone else you think should win the contest:

The Hashoo Foundation is sweetening the deal for the women beekeepers of northern Pakistan, by selling their top-quality honey in luxury hotels. The former kingdom of Gilgit in Pakistan is among the poorest and most isolated regions in the country. The towns are conservative and male-dominated - a place where women are not much seen, let alone heard.

One of the few income opportunities for women is beekeeping. The unique flora of the region makes for a superior honey that should command a premium price. The hard part is getting the honey to market. That's where the Hashoo Foundation comes in. It takes the women's honey, processes and packages it, and sells it in the high-end shops and hotels of Pakistan's capital Islamabad.

Profits go straight back to Gilgit, where they have a big impact on the women's lives. As the Foundation's Sarah Hashwani explains, "We're not interested in just helping them earn more money - we want to see that their children are better educated, that they have access to healthcare, that the have better sanitation in the houses and that they have better nutrition."
Check out all the finalists down at the BBC.