Alessandro Boyd, Gleaner Writer
THE PHRASE 'give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime' played out yesterday when 15 fishermen from Rae Town, Kingston, who were trained in repairing engines for motor vehicles and small boats, graduated.
The ceremony was held at the Rae Town Community Centre.
Andrew Neita, general manager of infrastructure and civil works at the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), said the project was organised by JSIF in association with the European Union, which funded the project.
"Rae Town is, of course, well known as a fishing community, but one of the main challenges the fishermen had for a long time is the lack of ability to fix the many malfunctioning small boat engines that get discarded each year because of frequency in use and poor maintenance," Neita told The Gleaner.
He added: "The lack of qualified persons to competently repair small boat engines had to be addressed."
Neita said the fishermen were trained in the areas of maintenance and repair of boat engines. Training was conducted by City and Guilds. As such, the fishermen will receive internationally renowned certification.
Forty-seven-year-old Delroy Chase, a graduate of the programme and a fisherman for 12 years, expressed gratitude for the opportunities opened up to him.
"From long time mi a fisherman an' mi see say most time mi guh sea, the engine bruk down pon mi all the while an' mi nuh know wa fi do. So from the opportunity come straight a my doorstep, so mi affi mek use of it," Chase told The Gleaner.
He added: "Mi plan fi go likkle further with this certificate and even start a business. Mi cyaa jus stop now. Mi plan fi start fix other boats and expand, even reach over Portland because mi hear a mussi jus' two man ova deh can do it, so mi can mek use of the opportunity," he added.