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Mercy Fishpond Update

The fishpond at Mercy Primary School is now complete!  The fish are due to arrive any day now, and then the fishpond will be up and running and local women will be able to buy their fish there instead of from local fishermen, who often force women to have sex with them before selling them fish.  Even better, when women buy the fish from this fishpond, the profits are invested in Mercy Primary School, improving the education of the next generation so they can break the cycle of poverty.  It’s estimated the fishpond will bring in £2,500 of revenue within seven months!

In October, we launched an appeal to raise the £2,500 needed to build the fishpond, and donations rushed in to support the women of Luanda.  On behalf of the community, we would like to extend a HUGE thank you to everyone who donated.  A recent donation from St James’ Village Residents Association, who took part in a dip in the North Sea on New Year’s Day, meant that 100% of the total was reached!

Linet is one of the women who lives in Luanda.  She received a small loan from COCO in 2016, allowing her to set up a small business cooking and selling fish, so that she could afford the school fees for her four children to attend Mercy Primary.  However, fishermen selling fish to women often force women to have sex with them before they will sell them the fish.  These fishermen had a monopoly over the fish, leaving women with no choice – until now!  Now women can buy the fish from the community-managed fishpond, free from exploitation.

The local economy is based on fishing, being on the shores of Lake Victoria. However, over fishing and pollution have meant fish are becoming smaller and scarcer.  The fishpond will help to reduce the strain on Lake Victoria, so the local economy can continue to grow. It will also assist in developing a sustainable eco-system, in which vegetables can be grown and poultry can be reared to generate further income. (Find out how in this stop motion video).

Thank you so much for supporting the community of Luanda.  The fishpond will make a huge difference to the lives of everyone in the area: fighting exploitation, improving education quality and supporting the local economy.

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