Tuesday, November 3, 2009

One Billion People

"One billion people in the world suffer from daily hunger." Most of us don't even have a reference point for that level of desperation. I don't believe I have ever gone hungry for lack of available food. I am overwhelmed many days by the imbalances of our world.

The statement came from an excellent article I read yesterday at allAfrica.com, an electronic distributor of African news and information. The article was authored by Raymond Offenheiser, President of Oxfam America. His words reinforce the approach that we are taking through Fish for Hope: equipping rural farmers in food production. Offenheiser states that "we must invest in farmers today.... International donors must recognize that solutions are often local, and the payoffs to investing in locally-owned solutions can be great."

Aquaculture is one of those solutions. Fish for Hope is the funnel through which Canadian donor funds can be channelled for this purpose. These funds will go directly to demonstration farms and rural families, providing the method and the means for fish production.

The link to the article follows. I encourage you to read it--it's not long:

We have been promoting the Xai-Xai pond project to the congregation of our local church, Wood's Harbour Wesleyan. A coin drive is under way to raise enough money to purchase the fish for two of the six ponds. Each pond will hold around 600 fish at a cost of $0.50/fish. So far, the Sunday School has raised enough to purchase fish for more than one pond.

Identifying a specific item for which to raise and give funds is a great way to generate group interest and know that your donation is being used in a tangible way. We also need to purchase tools (shovels, wheelbarrows) and liners ($2,000 each) for construction of the ponds. The ponds will be dug manually. How about sponsoring one local (Mozambican) worker for the whole project? A donation of $90-100 will pay a worker for the duration of the digging, providing this individual with vital household income.

We are nearly half-way to our goal.

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