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CAPACITY BUILDING FOR VILLAGE WOMEN
In Eastern Anatolia, women are essential participants in every aspect of village life. Yet social patterns such as feudal patriarchal behaviors and gender exclusivity negatively impact their social conditions and effectiveness. Their task is heavy, but the burden is alleviated when they are able to be involved in income building activities contributing to the village economy. The botanical projects are inspirational to women and an effective way to raise their socio-economic stature within the community.
Health Care Program
Village women were educated about the importance of the plants in their surroundings. Self-help workshops were organized with Dr. Vinod, our Ayurvedic expert from India. The relationship between food and diet was stressed, pointing to the importance of recognizing and consuming the wild plants surrounding the village. The usage of local plants as food and in simple herbal formulations was discussed. Elders in the audience shared their knowledge of traditional plant usage with the younger generations. Dr. Vinod showed the usage of local plants in simple herbal formulations and discussed other natural alternatives for disease prevention and health improvement.
Dr. Vinod conducted a series of herbal preparation workshops in Bozyiğit Village
Botanical and Honey Based Product Formulation
ANAF organized a botanical medicines workshop for village women in Bozyigit village, home to the wild honey project. Muhammed Tekin, a young phytotherapist, gave a workshop on wild plant medicinal preparations. Participants learned to gather and dry the plants, and to prepare extracts from them. They also made a potent salve from wild honey propolis, organic beeswax and some of the extracts. Samples of the salve were distributed to village families who reported excellent results with skin conditions, including burns, rashes, insect bites and boils.
WILD HONEY AND TRADITIONAL APICULTURE REVIVAL
One of the projects organized by Anatolia Foundation involves the revival of traditional apiculture in Kars. The project based in Bozyigit Village aims to produce organic certified traditional honey by bringing back the native Caucasian Queen Bee. This Bee is now on the “Turkish National Endangered Animals” List. It is known to be hardy and well adapted to climatic conditions of the region.
Since 2006, ANAF has supported the efforts of a few village families that continue the traditional practice of wild honey production. They are based in Bozyigit village, a rural hamlet overlooking a pristine crater lake, in a region of rare biodiversity. Most of the honeycombs are wild crafted and the resulting honey is considered medicinal quality. Customers report benefits for many health problems including mouth lesions and respiratory infections.
Certified Organic vs Wild-Crafted Honey
The wild-crafted honey was sold to some customers particularly interested in improving their health. They reported benefits for the following problems: