When we think of fishing we usually imagine someone casting a line into the water and reeling in their catch. Here, fishing means swimming under the surface at night and using a spear (in other parts of the world called a “Hawaiian Sling”) to snag your prey, and/or stringing a net across part of the lagoon.
In Samoa, a “fishing kit” is comprised of a mask, snorkel, fins, an underwater light, a spear, 180 meters of fishing net, and a cooler.
The 2009 tsunami washed away the people’s possessions, including their fishing kits—and most have not been replaced. Now, if a villager wants dinner, they probably have to buy a fish at the market. And since the villagers don’t really have any cash of their own, they usually end up borrowing money to pay for things—which starts a vicious cycle.
Salea'a'umua women's committee receiving donation
Things in Samoa are very expensive—about two-and-a-half times what they cost in the U.S.—so the likelihood that anyone could put together their own kit is remote.
To help people return to self-sufficiency, MicroAid has donated five fishing kits to the village of Salea’a’umua on the southeast coast of Upolu—the hardest hit area of the 2009 tsunami.
The women’s committee of the village will be in charge of loaning out the kits on a nightly basis, maintaining them, and monitoring their use. Villagers can even sell extra fish if they catch enough.
This is what MicroAid does: helps people reclaim their independence.
if enough large men in skirts keep giving you one, word to the wise: wear it
There is an old saying: “Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he’ll sit in a boat and drink beer all day.”
Here, give a man a fishing kit and he’ll catch dinner for his family.