Aquaculture Project Helps Filipino Families Provide for Themselves

March 13, 2018 • Philippines
Our aquaculture project teaches beneficiaries in poor villages how to raise fish in communal ponds close to their homes.
Our aquaculture project teaches beneficiaries in poor villages how to raise fish in communal ponds close to their homes.

A fishing project teaches poor villages how to generate and sustain additional income.

For years Ali Saban woke up at 3 a.m., grabbed his fishing gear, and headed out to sea. He labored all morning to catch crab, shrimp, and fish to sell at a local market on the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines.

However, with age, Ali struggled to maintain a fisherman’s rigorous schedule. With no other means to provide for his family, he became stressed and concerned.

A Bountiful Harvest

But now, since Samaritan’s Purse began an aquaculture project last year in Cotabato City, the 69-year-old Ali has new options open to him. He and about 300 other men have learned fishpond production and management from our staff.

Ali (middle) and his family are grateful to Samaritan's Purse for helping improve their quality of life.

Ali (middle) and his family are grateful to Samaritan’s Purse for helping improve their quality of life.

The men worked in groups of 100 on three different communal ponds. They learned to raise milkfish and crabs and how to monitor their growth.

Ali and his group worked together to excavate a seven-acre pond. The pond is close to Ali’s home, the work is more manageable than his days as a fisherman, and he can sell the fish and crabs at a market.

“Samaritan’s Purse is a great help to me and my family. I’m able to support my family’s needs through this project because we can buy food and pay household expenses,” Ali said.

His group hauled in more than 4,200 tons of milkfish in their first pond harvest. Market vendors were amazed that the men harvested so much in four months.

“Samaritan’s Purse is a great help to me and my family.”

Ali is encouraged as he anticipates income from future harvests and being able to take care of his family. He enjoys working alongside other beneficiaries and getting to know the Samaritan’s Purse staff.

Ali said he has seen lives change as a result of the project, especially among some of the younger men who used to gamble and drink. After participating in the Samaritan’s Purse project, Ali said these men stopped engaging in harmful practices and are more devoted to their families.

An Unexpected Blessing

The aquaculture project also teaches wives how to prepare and sell products from their husband’s fishpond harvest.

Alibai Usman is a 25-year-old mother of two whose husband participated in the project. Alibai wasn’t expecting an opportunity for herself and other spouses to also participate.

Alibai has become known for her shrimp crackers.

Alibai has become known for her shrimp crackers.

The young mother learned how to make seafood products such as shrimp crackers, boneless milkfish, stuffed milkfish, milkfish patty, and milkfish sausage.

“I am really blessed to be part of this project because I have learned a lot,” she said. “I learned to become a business-minded person. I enjoy what I’m doing and I’m earning an income at the same time.”

Alibai’s family lives in a small concrete house near the river. Her family struggled to survive on her husband’s earnings as a fisherman, so Alibai had to also work as a housekeeper.

Now, Alibai focuses on making the seafood products. During the Samaritan’s Purse training she practiced again and again until she got it right, even coming up with new flavors for shrimp crackers such as cheese, spicy, and sour. She’s become one of the most well-known sellers of shrimp crackers in her community.

The additional income from the aquaculture project has allowed Alibai’s family to have more money for food and for their children’s school supplies.

“My life would not be this meaningful if Samaritan’s Purse did not come to our village,” she said.

Please pray for families in the Philippines who are trying to rise above difficult circumstances. Also, most of the participants in our aquaculture project on Mindanao follow Islam, as this is a Muslim-majority region of the Philippines. Pray that they will come to know the love of God and His plan for their lives. Pray for our staff as they work in Jesus’ Name.

Fishing Projects “I am going fishing,” Simon Peter said in John 21:3. He and the other disciples had no success until they heard someone on the shore saying, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some” (21:6). John recognized the voice and said, “It is the Lord!” (21:7). Today, Samaritan’s Purse has projects around the world that help fishermen increase their catch in ways that also earn a hearing for the Gospel and bring people to Jesus. A gift of $50 can help supply sturdy boats and nets or stock a pond with enough tilapia or other fish to bless an entire community.

Fish Farms and Aquaculture Projects 013755
Suggested Gift: $50