Why it is important that women in Kenya learn fishing

Dried fish from the Victoria lake

Dried fish from the Victoria lake
I have met Cavin and Francis in Nairobi. Both of them had a rather challenging life when they grew up. Difficult family situations, death, poverty, frustrations… and both are appassionate for a big dream. And things changed: They have been together in an eight months social entrepreneurial program “kanthari” in India, getting a chance that seemed to be impossible only a few years back. Their dream? To change for better their surroundings and the chances for people like themselves. Here is the first story, Cavin’s story:

“In Homa Bay county, many women and depending on fish within fishermen community and fishermen are exploiting them every day and this is how HIV spreads and deaths occur. According to the recent statistics every 1 out of 4 persons is HIV positive. Many are dying, like my mother and sister leaving orphans behind.

Cavin Odero (l) and Francis Gikufu (r)
Cavin Odero (l) and Francis Gikufu (r)

So what we can do about this? We have to turn the tables around. Women have to get direct access to the resource; fish. Therefore I started Wa-Wa, a fisherwoman academy where we are going to train women and teenage girls from the age of 18 and above in fish farming, boat building and fishing.”

– Cavin Odera, founder of WA-WA, 2018 kanthari participant, Kenya

When Cavin’s parents and oldest sister died of HIV/AIDS, he was mocked and discriminated. This experience eventually triggered his passion to empower girls and young women, to equip them with skills to earn sustainable livelihoods without falling victim to “sex for fish”, which is rampant the Lake Victoria region.

More about Cavin’s work at http://www.wa-wakenya.org/

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