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Turning Honey into Knowledge – A Creative Collaboration Between Gonzaga University and Zambia

It’s the time of year when countless college students across the Pacific Northwest and the country begin to plan for their spring and summer breaks. While many young adults will invest their time away from the classroom in internships and summer jobs, a small handful will venture from Spokane, Washington, to Zambia, Africa, to turn honey into knowledge.

The Zambia Gold honey project is a student-run effort at Gonzaga University, a Murdock Trust grantee. About eleven years ago, a small group of students from the Gonzaga Comprehensive Leadership Program ventured to Zambia to help build collaborative relationships in the community. Yearning to bring more opportunity to the region, the group began conversations with local bee farmers and discovered the delicious, organic honey they produced. The students worked out an arrangement to bring Zambia Gold honey to Spokane, where it is currently sold on campus as well as at local retailers.

Today, a group of students representing a variety of majors and backgrounds collaborate to run the initiative throughout the year, including the organization’s accounting, website development, customer service and marketing. In addition, a team of four interns returns to Zambia every summer to work on the project. In fact, the organization is currently reviewing applicants for its 2018 internship with a new group of students traveling to Africa in just a few months. All proceeds from the sale of Zambia Gold honey go right back into the African community. The project has already helped stock the library of a school in Chilenga, Zambia. Over the coming years, program participants hope to raise enough money to bring electricity to the school as well as construct more classrooms and raise the salaries of local educators.

The Murdock Trust is proud to support the Zambia Gold honey program through funding for Social Entrepreneur Internships. More importantly, the Trust is thrilled to see students bring such innovative, out-of-the-box thinking to help solve a problem while investing in unique partnerships to facilitate collaboration. This is precisely the type of creativity and dedication that can help tackle challenges facing communities here in the Pacific Northwest, as well as around the world.

For more information on the Zambia Gold honey project, or to place an order, please visit their website.