Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Fish for sale

Wanna buy a fish?

Mrs Be, of Hue province, has 130kg of fish for sale.

For the past 12 months, Mrs Be has been learning to raise fish in the lagoon near her home. She's learned to record data and information; she's battled (successfully) against disease; she's learned to determine when the fish need more food, and when they have too much. She's even learned how to make suitable under-water cages to keep the fish contained.

This has all been part of a program to help families in Mrs Be's community improve their incomes.

Why is this important?

Mrs Be's daughter, Diep, is one of the 94 children we've rescued from trafficking. Her village is a 'hot spot' for child traffickers, who take girls and boys to Ho Chi Minh City to work like slaves in garment factories. Diep was just 13 years old when she was taken to the factories where she worked for 8 months until we took her home.

Mrs Be's fish harvest is worth about $500US - the most money she's ever made in her life! She and the other families will put some of this money back into a community fund to help other poor families; and in coming weeks Mrs Be will use some of her profit to start growing more fish.

Fighting trafficking is not just about rescuing kids from factories. It's also about ensuring the long term safety and livelihood of their family and community. Growing fish isn't a huge part of what we do here at Blue Dragon, but it sure has been important for Mrs Be and her daughter Diep.