Empowering fishing families to rise above poverty
Kent dreams of becoming a chef. Now 11, he is tasked to help his mother prepare their meals. He mastered cooking eggs and fried meat. He also started learning to cook the fresh fish/catch of his father, Albert.
“I love cooking. I always help my mother in the kitchen and I want to learn how to be better at it,” he shares.
His father, Albert, now 40, used to be scared of his eldest child’s dream.
“We do not have much. I cannot even buy my own boat to increase my income from fishing,” he says.
Ten years ago, Albert used to own a wooden-hull boat but it was later damaged. He has since been working for another fisherman’s boat, earning an average of P6000 each month. He also paints houses when there are opportunities, earning him an extra P500/day.
“We try to make ends meet, but as the children grow up, we need more income to provide for their needs, especially in school,” says Albert.
Last April 2021, Albert got the answer to his prayers. Through World Vision’s Gift Catalog in Misamis Occidental, he received an 18 feet fiber glass boat with marine engine. He also received gillnets.
“When they told me that my family will receive a motorized boat, I was in disbelief. We have been praying for this help. And when this was finally handed over to us, I couldn’t contain my excitement. I am just grateful,” Albert smiles.
With a boat of his own and gillnets, he expects to earn between P15,000-P20,000 each month. He and his fellow fisher folks who received the same support were also trained on the proper handling of fiber glass fishing boat, fishing methods, marine life and coastline conservation by World Vision, in partnership with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).
“That training was useful to us. We will definitely do our best to protect the marine resources to ensure that our children will also benefit from them,” he says.
World Vision worked with the fisher folks association and the barangay (village) local government to help ensure the smooth transfer of the boats to the fisher folks, as well as sustainability of the project.
As agreed by all parties, including Albert, the beneficiaries will have to give back only 10% of the total amount of the boat within one year. Their payment will go to the association that will then manage the fund and purchase fishing materials for other families.
“I am all for it. By giving back 10% of the total cost of the boat through our association, I hope to help other fishing families in our community who also have dreams for their children.”
Dreams like that of his Kent Avit. Now that he’s empowered and equipped to earn better income, he is no longer afraid. He knows there will be challenges ahead and he will definitely need hard work, but, he is off to a fresh start in helping Kent Avit become a chef