How the USAID Heshimu Bahari Activity is empowering Kilwa’s Coastal Community

The USAID Heshimu Bahari Activity, which means “Respect the Ocean,” is helping local communities take care of their marine environment while improving their lives. We have had this conversation before. Over the past three months, Aqua-Farms Organization (AFO) has been busy running capacity building and training sessions for community members and local leaders. These aren’t your typical boring classes – they’re fun, interactive, and packed with useful information for the better marine future. Here’s what’s been happening:
  1. Learning to Lead: On June 19, 2024, a number of participants including many women and young people (by greater %) from NYAMAJISOPOJA CFMA, gathered for a special leadership training. Led by a team of internal and external trainers, they learned about personal leadership, how to lead others, and how to work together with stakeholders effectively. Participants practiced real-life scenarios and came up with creative ideas for networking.
  2. Everyone Has a Voice: The training sessions focus on making sure both men and women have an equal say in how to manage their marine resources. It’s all about working together to protect the ocean.
  3. Creating Safer Communities: An important part of the training addresses gender-based violence. Participants learnt how to make their communities safer and more respectful for everyone.
  4. Going Digital: In today’s world, digital skills are crucial. The training helped community members learn how to use technology to share their conservation efforts with the world and manage important data for decision making and better operations.
  5. Caring for Nature: Participants learnt the best ways to take care of their natural resources, ensuring that fishing and other activities don’t harm the environment.
  The impact of these training sessions has been remarkable. As one community leader put it,
“We’re not just learning – we’re growing. This program has given us the tools to shape our own future and protect our precious ocean.”
The USAID Heshimu Bahari Activity in Kilwa isn’t just a project; it’s a movement. It’s bringing people together, giving them new skills, and helping them work towards a better future for themselves and for the ocean. With every person trained and every community empowered, the future of Kilwa’s marine ecosystem looks brighter. This project shows that when we respect the ocean and each other, amazing things can happen. And in Kilwa, this is just the beginning of a fantastic journey towards a sustainable and prosperous future.  
Javis  Bashabula

Javis Bashabula

Communications Lead - AFO

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