In my wonderful life journey I have met some amazing people doing amazing things.
Yesterday, I had the privilege of spending a volunteer day with my friend Fiona Robins who introduced me to a wonderful social enterprise concept called Beekeeper Parade run by a remarkable human being …. Koky Saly.
I am continually inspired by the passion and drive of those who create directly from their heart. There are countless examples of social enterprises all over the world … many of which were started by a selfless act, a vision, a promise …
Beekeeper Parade is one of those organisations … this quote is directly from their website (you should go check them out).
BeeKeeper is a Social Business hatched between a brother (Koky) and sister (Sophia) in 2012 while Sophia was in hospital fighting cervical cancer.
It was with the heaviest of hearts that we experienced the loss of Sophia on the 15th of August 2012, after an 18 month battle. We still feel her absence with such acute rawness. In her will, she left her car to her brother Koky, with instructions to sell it and use the money to create a business that would inspire change and help support the continued work of BabyTree Projects, a charity they founded together to fight for children’s rights and to bring quality education to the doorsteps of children in rural Cambodia.
Since that time, Koky has dedicated his life to making sure that he keeps his promise to his sister. To this end Boy & Bee was born in 2012, and in 2014 we decided to change the name to BeeKeeper. And the Sophia Saly School was built in 2014, in a coastal village right near the sea.
Koky Saly, himself a refugee, now works tirelessly with his team to support the Cambodian school with the manufacture and sale of their amazing Beekeeper Backpacks and Weekenders (among other things). The manufacture of these products is, in itself a good news story … with the use of recycled, donated and repurposed materials to create their really well thought out and very high quality products.
Apart from the high quality of the products, they a bit of fun and above all utilitarian, not to mention that the manufacture also creates employment opportunities. Beekeeper ticks all the boxes.
Their model is simple and it works on so many levels.
The sale of one backpack/weekender will send a child to English classes for a whole year … and for these children, this could mean the difference between living in poverty for the whole of their lives or learning the skills to lead productive lives.
Currently based as a pop up in Melbourne Central (in the heart of Melbourne) until January 2017, Beekeeper has a great range of backpacks, weekenders, ipad and computer covers and more. Do yourself a huge favour and pop in for some Christmas shopping with heart. They also have an online store if you can’t make it into Melbourne Central.
P.S. I am now the proud owner of this lovely creation. Anyone who knows me will know that this is a perfect fit.