In January 2013, Dave and I visited JOHABETO and were encouraged by Martin Shikuku's initiative in starting another small business. When we arrived, the children had already dug a huge pond out and they were in process of lining this pond so that it could hold water. The ultimate goal was to introduce fingerling fish that would be grown into marketable, edible fish that could be caught and sold at the local market. The pond itself, and all of the Shikuku property, is located on the downside of a large slope and this was to be an aid since much water from the upper farms would contribute to the fresh water required for this project to work.
Initially, they were met with success as you can tell from the harvest of fish shown. This was to be a project that would move them towards independence and self-sufficiency. Unfortunately, as the fish were getting ready to be harvested, a large rain storm came and, given the large volume of water rushing to their farm, the pond overflowed and most of the fish were swept away. This was a disappointment to all!
I wanted to be deliberate about sharing this with you all since we recognize that not everything we or our project leaders do is met with immediate success, nor do we wish to project an image of being successful in all we do. I am pleased with Martin's initiative and leadership in this project as he attempts to move his home from dependence to independence. This is the beautiful part of this story! Martin's leadership is an example to us all!
If any of you would like to help Martin get this project back on track for 2014, please feel free to contact myself (Michael) at any time. In the meantime, be encouraged that though you too may find yourself discouraged, remember Martin and his family and press on!