Newsletter: March 2016
There are so many exciting things happening with FFC this year! New farms, training for fine-tuning building methods, and improvements to existing farms will keep us busy.
In January, we completed installation of 20 new flood & drain vegetable-filtration beds and made enhancements to the aeration system in Belize. This Central American location has had an amazing and fruitful first 10 months, and we are excited to continue to track with them as they utilize this Aquaponic fish and vegetable farm to reach new levels of self-sustainability for their school, homes and child-food programs. We are so proud of them!
Currently, the FFC team is headed to South Africa. After 4 years of construction and 11 new installations, it's time for a brief pause to catch up with the most current Aquaponic and organic agriculture technologies. The team will expand their industry knowledge and will finalize new farm designs for installations later this year. We will also meet with local South African organizations who are fighting against child-trafficking in this region of Africa.
Then, Jason and Brenda Sommer (Project and Construction Managers) will head to Zimbabwe, where they will work with local partners on one of the existing fish farms. Work will include installation of a new greenhouse and flood & drain vegetable-filtration beds. They will continue training local staff there, while making improvements to ensure easy maintenance and to maximize the harvest potential of the fish farm.
After a brief pause back in Oregon, FFC will take a team to Thailand in May. We will begin the process of building smaller, mini-fish farm systems which are designed to benefit the rural Hill Tribe homes of Thailand. They require little power, and are low maintenance, which will keep operating costs low and increase the profit base. This means that more money will go directly to the care and safekeeping of children.
Child prostitution is a sad and enormous problem in Thailand. Havoscope, a database providing information about the global black market, estimates that Thailand has more than 250,000 prostitutes.
Child sexual-trafficking is happening everywhere, behind different guises and in many forms. Children all over the world are being victimized. FFC is committed to providing the opportunities and resources needed, through fish farms, to help prevent it.
Great Night at the M.A.C!
Without the support and generosity of so many great people none of what we do would be possible. This year’s banquet proved that through the collaboration of community we can make a difference in one of the world’s most evil injustices. We are making that difference!
With so many great Tilapia farm opportunities ahead of us we decided to take on the ambitious goal of raising 100k to fund our next farms in SE Asian and Africa. On March 4th we gathered with over 200 excited collaborators for a benefit dinner at the Multnomah Athletic Club in Portland to raise the needed funds for this year’s projects.
Most of the night was full of the boisterous sounds of people making new friends, old friends reconnecting, and of course lots of bidding going on for the great assortment of action items. Midway through the dinner the whole crowd paused in total silence to hear our guest speaker Carl Ralston, the founder of the organization called Remember Nhu. He shared his story about meeting a young gal in Thailand named Nhu, who was sold into sex slavery by her grandmother when she was a little girl. Carl shared Nhu’s heart wrenching story, which brought tears to the eyes of most people and a sober reality to all. As hard as it was to hear Nhu’s story, the end of Carl’s message brought great hope to the crowd as he introduced a special guest to the audience… Nhu. When she was introduced the audience immediately stood up and erupted with applause. Seeing Nhu sit there with a tearful crowd applaud her for her bravery was great imagery to show that every story involving trafficking doesn’t have to end badly. Human trafficking can be stopped, and we as a growing community of not just fly anglers are doing our part to end child trafficking.
With the great support of the outfitters that donated trips and gear, the local businesses that donated packages, and so many generous people that showed up for the evening, we reached our goal and can now move forward on building new farms in Asia and Africa that will serve over 500 kids.
True West Rods doing their part
True West Custom Fly Rods is excited to be hosting the International Fly Fishing Film Festival (IF4) on March 31st at the Wildish Theater in Eugene. The IF4 is a collection of professionally made fly fishing videos from around the globe that highlight the beauty and culture of fly fishing.
True West Rods will be showing this year's IF4 and giving away a slew of great fishing gear, all as a fundraiser to aid Fly Fishing Collabrative in fighting sex trafficking around the world. Tickets can be purchased online at the flyfilmfest.com or at the Caddis Fly and Home Waters fly shop. Many thanks to Tony Overstake of True West Rods!