Resident wants to sail to new heights

Mariolito Johnson (27) is part of the Shed Light Fishing ProjectPHOTOS: LISA LOTTERING
Mariolito Johnson (27) is part of the Shed Light Fishing ProjectPHOTOS: LISA LOTTERING

A Tafelsig resident wants to be the change in his community and make his family proud.

Mariolito Johnson (27), is part of a project which equips young people with life skills and teaches them about the fishing industry.

The Shed Light Fishing Project, which falls under the Joining Hands Community Project in Tafelsig, is aimed at affording young people with opportunities within an industry that they may not be familiar with.

Johnson says fishing has always been in his family and this was his only opportunity to find a job. The 27-year-old says he wants to make his mother proud and provide for their family.

“I am very excited about this opportunity and I am not scared of the ocean, I love the water.” He says if he goes to sea, he will be away for two months at a time, but he is prepared to be away for that long.

Johnson says he will be receiving training and once he has completed his training, he will go into the fishing industry.

Grassy Park resident and project manager, Kurt Linnett, says this assists young people to find work in the fishing industry.

“We run this project to empower young people who are not working.”

Linnett says this project gives them an idea of the fishing industry. “These men will be introduced to different parts of the fishing industry.”

Linnett says the project is also focused on teaching life skills when they work with the youngsters on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the community centre. “When we teach them life skills they start to think differently about themselves and the role they can play in the community.”

He says they want the youngsters to see the value they don’t see in themselves.

“The life skills are used to see where they are in life and so that they can dream far beyond what they see for themselves,” says Linnett. This also serves to discover what the youngsters are interested in. “We want them to want more for themselves and to assist them to take it to the next level.

“We want them to see the worth in themselves,” says Linnett.

These youngsters don’t see themselves attaining much. “It’s easy to give them a hand-out but we want to give them a skill,” says Linnett.

Johnson says he wants to get out of Tafelsig and make a better life for himself and his family. He says Tafelsig wasn’t always like this. “It’s the people that make it like this, it’s not the place,” he says.

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