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Plan Bee - The Hashoo Foundation - Pakistan

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.”