On behalf of the members of TRY Oyster Women’s Association and their families, we thank you all for your continued support and donations. You have made a definite impact on the lives of the TRY members.
With your generous donations, TRY Association was able to purchase school uniforms for 75 of the TRY members’ children. And it was just in time for the opening of school! The children and their families were delighted and grateful to be provided with such uniforms. Sometimes fees such as the school uniform and books can prevent or delay children from going to school.
TRY Association has continued to stay busy during these off-season months with capacity building trainings for the TRY women, mangrove planting, aquaculture, alternative livelihood skill classes, and health classes. Many of the current activities are in efforts to prepare for the upcoming oyster harvesting season (March – June). One of the ways TRY Association is working to improve the oyster product is through training the women on sanitary food processing and handling at the landing sites, including hand washing, using gloves, etc. By improving and adding value to the oyster product, the TRY members will hopefully take home more profit each day.
At the beginning of August, the members of TRY Association participated once again in a mangrove planting exercise in the towns of Old Jeshwang and Fajikunda, both located in the Greater Banjul area.
Over 100 TRY members, along with TRY Association staff, Executive Board Members, and local partners planted thousands of mangrove propagules from early morning to late afternoon. In Old Jeshwang, 17 rice bags of propogules (mangrove seedlings) were planted, covering 12.5 hectares of land. In Fajikunda, 15 bags of propogules were planted, covering 12 hectares of land. This is another great step in improving the mangrove ecosystem of The Gambia!
TRY members are beginning string oyster aquaculture this week in their respective areas in the Tanbi Wetlands National Park. The women were trained on and implemented this method last year so this year will serve as another trial. Hopefully from this second round, TRY Association will be able to determine whether aquaculture in the Tanbi Wetlands National Park is an economically worthy venture for the women to continue on their own.
The Skills Training Program took a short break from July to September and recently reopened at the beginning of October. During the break, TRY Association facilitated the hiring of the girls for seasonal work at both private homes and at local businesses to enhance their work experience and knowledge and to improve their skills. From now until December, the girls are continuing to practice and hone their tie-dye, cooking and catering skills. The Skills Training Program also includes a health education component now. Because the girls attending the Training Program were forced to drop out of school, they are in very vulnerable positions. They have limited knowledge regarding sexual and reproductive health, including HIV/AIDS, STIs, and family planning, and therefore they are at serious risk for teenage pregnancy, contracting HIV and STI’s, entering and staying in unhealthy relationships, etc. TRY Association is working to equip these young women with the knowledge necessary to protect themselves. So far the girls have learned about male and female reproductive anatomy, menstruation, STIs, gender roles, relationships, love, and much more.
Thank you once again for your continued efforts. You are continuing to help these women effectively help themselves.