Africa BEECause has a UK-based board of four trustees/directors:
Peter Graham-Matheson Chair, fund raising and operations
Peter is a retired human resources manager. His Africa connections date back to Kenya at the time of independence. In 2005 he went to Tanzania as a volunteer in a microfinance organisation. This experience ignited an interest in development and he began working with the Gambian national beekeepers association (NBAG) in The Gambia in 2007.
Bill Ormrod finance and accounts
Before retiring, Bill was a senior accountant and head of finance for a public utility. He is also a trustee of another UK charity and voluntary adviser to Allahtentu (an HIV/AIDS self-help group) in The Gambia. He has worked as a volunteer in Central America, Tanzania (for a microfinance organisation) and most recently at NBAG, where he met Peter.
Ralph Johnson trust, legal and compliance
Ralph is a retired solicitor and a former Olympic athlete. He still competes internationally, is a coach and mentored British competitors at the 2012 Olympics. His charitable interests supporting enterprise and education in The Gambia go back to 2004.
Lynne Graham-Matheson administration, education and training
Lynne has a PhD in education and works as a Principal Research Fellow at a UK university. She has visited various parts of Africa and worked with the education department of the University of the Gambia. She has an interest in fostering co-operative programmes.
The BEECause Gambia team is led by
Chris Honeycutt, Country Manager
Chris (Kawsu) is a former Peace Corps Volunteer who served in The Gambia. During this time he raised funds for several projects, including beekeeping. Chris has exceptional Mandinka and is part fluent in several other local languages. He has a degree in anthropology and a strong interest in development and conservation.
Gibbeh Bah Jobe Administration and Accounting Manager
Gibbeh is the second in command. Her role includes administration and accounting, project/programme management, marketing and running Kumoo Kunda. She has an accounting qualification, a number of years experience of administration in development and knows beekeeping. Before joining BEECause she had a similar role with another development organisation.
Balla Ndure Senior Field Officer
Balla, the son of a beekeeping forester, is a highly knowledgeable and skilled beekeeper and trainer. Balla runs the field support programme and is a senior technical trainer and chief buyer.
Kebbah Touray Apiary Supervisor
’Kbee’ is a long standing beekeeper who has his own apiary and a senior trainer. He is in charge of the demonstration apiary, processing and distribution.
The team in The Gambia, with Peter visiting from the UK
Other Gambian staff carry out training in beekeeping and related techniques, including hive making, processing, packaging and small scale manufacture of products using honey and beeswax as ingredients, as well as looking after the maintenance and security of Kumoo Kunda.
From time to time the team is supplemented by volunteers. PCV Xander spent nearly a year with us, first supporting training, and later making a big input to marketing. PCV Ann, a beekeeper from Virginia, has been on assignment throughout her service. Her beekeeping experience has been a great asset. Other volunteers join for shorter periods. Jamie, a British engineer, spent three weeks building and planting at Lamin, including constructing an amazing flight of steps. Daniel, a graduate in development studies from Canada, spent four productive months on tasks ranging from transporting hives to helping NBAG with planning and conducting a market survey of bee products. Ian, a naturalist and beekeeper, spent a month technical beekeeping (and watching birds and snakes). Helen, a PhD student, spent an all too brief period updating IT office systems. PCV Darren, and Julia, who is retired, worked on designing the ‘By the Way’ stallholders scheme. Darren and Ann (with Chris, Gibbeh and Balla) were instrumental in ensuring the success of the West Africa Conference.
There are always opportunities for self reliant volunteers and we welcome anyone who has skills, energy and enthusiasm to offer – see our Become a Volunteer page.
BEECause Gambia Advisory Committee
The committee has an important role in steering our activities and in particular ensuring proper account is taken of local customs and cultural norms. It comprises four external members who are experienced senior Gambians, together with Chris and Gibbeh and any trustee who is in the country. The external members include a headmaster who is also country co-ordinator for a schools charity, a programme officer with a government department who has a Masters in apiculture, a programme officer with an international agency who is a beekeeper and environment specialist, and the founder and director of the leading women’s development association which specialises in reusing and recycling.
In due course the Advisory Committee will form the core of a local board of directors as BEECause Gambia assumes greater autonomy. The aim is that by that time it will have a Gambian general manager.