(Originally published at OnePaper.com)
“Give a man a fish, and he will eat for one day. Teach a man to fish, and he will eat for a lifetime.” That proverb is claimed by many cultures, perhaps because its truth is so universal. Putting such adages into practice takes dedication to the principle and a careful balance, lest you harm the ones you intend to lift up. Atlanta Radio Station The Fish – 104.7 FM made a decision to offer true aid to a fishing village on the island of Jamaica. Their initial dreams were multiplied many times over, ensuring the survival of the residents of Old Pera, in Jamaica, West Indies.
Pictured: Sydney Henry, Special Projects Coordinator with Food for the Poor Jamaica, Kevin & Taylor on the front porch of one of the boathouses (from Fish 104.7 website)
Food For the Poor, in Deerfield Beach, Florida, has seen to the needs of many throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. Over the past 19 years, over 800 million dollars have gone towards helping to make a difference in that part of the globe. Atlanta “The Fish” Morning Show team Kevin & Taylor get up early in the ayem to do more than entertain Atlanta Christian audiences. The huge (over $200,000 donated by Fish listeners) success of their Old Pero mission gives them little time to rest on their laurels. The beneficiaries of their next “Day of Hope” campaign will be the fishing village of the Port Antonio area.
Families Working Together
Ordinarily, a fisherman maintains the equipment to ply his trade, and what he does not own, is rented from an area business. In many fishing villages in Jamaica, cash is in such short supply that the barter system ensures that there will be boats to fish in and sanitary storage facilities so that the food can remain viable for the market. Engines, boathouse construction, freezers, utilities… in exchange for all of these things, many poor fishermen had to surrender percentages of their catch. By the time everyone was paid, the family was often left with little to eat and worse off than when they began. The Food for the Poor organization has targeted 41 of these villages, providing decent housing, training in management of boating facilities, even sewing machines so that the women can form cooperatives and another way to earn the daily bread. In this way, families can work together towards a better economic condition.
Local Church to Manage Project
A local Methodist Church will oversee the financial aspects of the project once everything is in place, and participants will grant 10% of the income derived from their business activities to the church for community development purposes. As the Food for the Poor project continues, interested donors may contact Food For the Poor; Atlanta, Georgia residents are invited to visit Atlanta Radio Station The Fish – 104.7 FM to follow Kevin & Taylor’s efforts and the next “Day of Hope” in October 2002.