“The last two weeks Bang Mat got tons of fish from his trawler and earned more than ten thousand baht!” An enthusiastic voice from a group of chitchatting housewives in Ban Tha Ruea Community is heard by Suphaphorn Khunyara, or Kahlee, who is just around there. She hurriedly puts down the trawl-making materials supported by World Vision Foundation of Thailand (WVFT)’s Thung Wa Project and rushes to join the club.
Kahlee is very much interested in what she’s just heard. Her family lives on fishing right here in Ban Tha Ruea (which means harbor). As suggested by its name, the community must be close to the sea and, presumably, the majority of community members must be fishermen. Every afternoon each fisherman will launch his trawler into the sea, accompanied by his wife or a couple of siblings or relatives, and return ashore in the next late morning. Their income is just enough for them to live from hand to mouth.
Because Ban Tha Ruea is one of the communities in Thung Wa Project’s operational area, Kahlee’s grandson, as well as other community children, have opportunity to join WVFT’s Child Sponsorship Programme, which has supported families with occupational promotion.
“WVFT had surveyed our needs. We said that we would like them to complement our current occupation. Trawls are the fundamental tools which we need to buy every year.” Kahlee said while preparing the equipment and materials to make trawls.
The materials supported have enabled Kahlee to successfully assemble 3 trawls to use. The market price of each trawl is around 2,000 baht. It is not surprising to see a big smile on her face as Kahlee said further: “It’s like we have saved as much as 6,000 baht. For some housewives who do not have time to make their own trawls, because they need to help their husbands in the trawler, they will hire the elderly to fill in. This promotes cash circulation within community.”
Kahlee has already planned ahead to finish the trawl assembly before the fishing season arrives, which is between May to August. “It is the season of the Indian mackerel. We need to trawl in the deep sea.” Kahlee explained. “After that it is the season of the croaker. We’ll use the same trawls which will be shortened as the croaker lives in the shallower water.”
In the upcoming fishing season, despite the unpredictable weather, which makes one of the uncontrollable factors in fishing, Kahlee feels at ease because the six thousand baht, previously spent on fishing cost each year, is now lying peacefully in her pocket and will be spent on other necessities. “Thank you WVFT so much,” said Kahlee with a smile.