What started as a way to honour the passing of a loved one has uplifted an entire community in Asembo, Kenya.

In 2012, a generous donor contacted us and expressed her desire to support a community in honour of her late husband, who passed away at the age of just 49. Since that day, more than $8,000 has been donated to fishing groups in Asembo through this special “Papa’s Dream Boat Grant”.

Victoria Samaki, a community group in Asembo, runs a small-scale fishing business. The group members include 13 widows, and a man. Due to a lack of supplies, they struggled with their business for several years. In 2014, they were blessed to receive a donation of a 27-foot boat and engine through Papa’s Dream Boat Grant! The boat, named “Papa’s Dream”, has been used for both fishing and transportation across Lake Victoria, and has allowed the group to earn a good income. As the group’s business grew, they were able to hire four youth to help fish while group members collected and processed the fish for market.

The money made from this small fishing business has enabled the families to pay school fees and meet basic needs for their children. In addition to the boat, the grant has also assisted the group with other fishing equipment such as nets and lamps.

Since this first gift of a boat was given, three other fishing groups have been assisted by Papa’s Dream Boat Grant. Wooden boats, engines, fishing nets, life jackets, fishing lamps and training have all allowed the small groups to find success in their fishing businesses. Thanks to the gift of large fishing nets, one group even increased their daily income from only $10.50 CAD a day between many people to $98 CAD a day!  “Papa’s Dream Boat Grant has lifted us from beggars to boat owners,” says Emma, a fishing group member.

The creation of livelihood opportunities is a proven way to break barriers created by poverty. Providing families a hand up to self-sufficiency creates a ripple effect throughout the entire community. Papa’s Dream Boat Grant is a great example of how a focused donation can uplift a community in need.

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