Arriving to Cameroon six months ago, Hadja Souadou Diallo knew very little about honey. However, having been selected as an intern to help a honey producing community, she immersed herself in all things related to making and selling this popular export—and along the way, got a taste of culture in Cameroon.
"While I knew nothing about honey before arriving, I did my own research and helped local producers by interviewing successful honey entrepreneurs,” Hadja said. “One interview was with an 84-year-old man who has been a beekeeper and seller of honey for all his life. We talked about best practices and ways to pass that knowledge on to new honey producers in other communities. He wanted to give advice so that others could expand their businesses.”
As part of Hadja’s internship, she was tasked with reviewing the current state of honey production in the community, and offer recommendations to improve local production, sales and export opportunities.
The University of Ottawa graduate was in Cameroon as part of the International Youth Internship Program with Cuso International. She was one of 35 interns selected for the internship program, supported by Global Affairs Canada.
One project Hadja didn’t get to finish during her six-month placement was a documentary about the 84-year-old beekeeper. The purpose of the film is to show the expertise in the country and connect him to future entrepreneurs. She hopes the film will be completed by the next volunteer to take her place.
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