In 2015, BAF provided all the necessary financial and technological means for an unemployed family in Armenia to install fifty-two beehives to produce high quality honey according to organic standards. The hives are made in Armenia. They are two-floored and are made of linden wood with a capacity of 24 bee frames. The beehives are located in northwestern Armenia near the village of Vardakhbyur in Ashotsk marz (district) at an altitude of 2000 metres.
Our bees are Caucasian honey bees (Apis Mellifera Caucasica), which is a subspecies of the western honey bee (Apis Mellifera). They make honey from a wide variety of mountain medicinal plants such as Thyme, Camomile, Trifolium, Dandelion, Cephalaria, Onopordum acanthium, Herba hyperici, Achillea millefolium L. On the first year we were able to harvest 350 kg of honey.
We try to maintain a balance between honey production and the well-being of our bees and therefore do not attempt to increase honey production at all cost. Respect for nature and animals is fundamental to BAF. Thus, half of the honey produced is left for the bees for the winter. Honey contains minerals, vitamins and other substances that are natural antibiotics. These protect bees from disease.
We intend to increase the number of hives to 200, thereby creating more employment for the region and augmenting the magic of honey production.
In 2015, BAF began the Herb Project to take advantage of the rich biodiversity of the region by gathering wild herbs and producing all-natural herbal teas.
All our herbs for teas have been collected at an altitude of 2000 metres in Armenia. All our culinary herbs have been grown in family gardens and are absolutely free of any chemical substances. The drying process has also been done using natural methods, wind and sun. Thus, all our herbs are entirely organic.
In 2015, we produced 250 kg of different herbs.
The Warmth and Shelter Project was undertaken by the BAF association in the winter of 2014 to respond to the urgent needs of families and solitary elderly people who have no means to heat their homes.
Gyumri is the poorest city in Armenia with an unemployment rate of more than 50%. Around 3000 families are still deprived of normal shelter due to the earthquake of 1988.
inters are extremely cold in Gyumri with temperatures dropping to minus 30. BAF organized and gathered the financial means necessary to provide wood for heating as well as food for 36 families and 15 elderly people.
We worked through a local NGO (Shirak Centre) which rapidly delivered the wood and food directly to these people in need.
Transforming a Truck into a Stage
The Transformer project was carried out in Armenia in 2014. A truck was re-designed to be transformed into a stage or a work place. It was conceived and built by the Geneva Utopiana Association.
The truck was put at the disposal of numerous NGOs to be used for raising public awareness of important issues. Organisers travel to all corners of Armenia organising workshops, expositions and other activities and showing documentary films.
BAF gathered the necessary financial resources and in 2014 sponsored a project of public awareness about the irreparable damage that the mining industry does to the environment and the great inequalities it creates. BAF sponsored the “Save Teghut” civic initiative, which successfully accomplished the project.
Sending Medical Equipment
In late 2020 and early 2021, all Armenian organisations of Switzerland and the community as a whole joint efforts to send medical equipment to Artsakh. BAF took active part in reaching out to hospitals, medical centers and charity organisations up to coordinating and executing logistics with the financial support of donators and funds raised at sales fairs.
Hosting a Honey Fair
In 2013, in collaboration with the “Save Teghut” social initiative, BAF actively participated in the organisational process and financed 80% of the costs of a popular fair that took place in Shnogh village of Lori marz/district where a huge mining project was to start its activities.
Our goal was to demonstrate that the region was so rich in its natural renewable resources that there was enormous alternative and viable economic development potential, other than the mining industry. We brought around 200 people from Yerevan to Teghut. People discovered the natural wonders of the region.
The “Save Teghut” initiative has helped local honey producers to sell their honey since 2011. More than two tons of honey has been marketed.
Hosting Sales Fair
From the very onset, BAF has been warmly welcomed by various Armenians organisations in Switzerland and held sales fairs at frequent events and traditional gatherings such as the yearly Kermesse organised by the Armenian Apostolic Church of Geneva or the August Khorovadz organised by the Union of Armenians of Switzerland.
Organizing Educational Sessions
One of BAF’s mission is raising awareness about the important of environment preservation and principles of sustainable development for young generations;
Fundraising for Humanitarian Aid
2020 has been a difficult year with the global pandemic, followed by the Beirut explosion, then the conflict in Artsakh resulting in a major humanitarian crisis. Under strict allowances, BAF continued operating and held sale stands at various locations with the purpose of fundraising to support humanitarian aid.