(05 April 2016) – Since February, fifteen young African asylum seekers have been learning about beekeeping as part of a project supported by the Leone Rosso cooperative in Châtillon, Valle d’Aosta, Italy. Three key words: solidarity, reciprocity and social innovation.
“Brave Bee” is a beekeeping training project that combines theory (introduction to basic beekeeping techniques) and practice (building hives and other tools).
Even if a little French and English is still used to be understood, classes are taught in Italian, which allows participants to learn the language faster and thus accelerate their social integration.
It is common sense and a spirit of reciprocity – ‘do ut des’, ‘return what you have been given’ – which inspired the project. In addition to teaching new skills to these young people in despair, and getting them out of the inactivity engendered by their asylum seeker status, Bee Brave also allows the cooperative to increase its production, and therefore the project should be self-sustaining this year and maybe also next year.