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Betsina Petikotik, A fisherwoman from Lermatang Village,

Betsina Petikotik

That morning, Oxfam visited Betsina Petikotik or known as Betsi at her house in Lermatang Village, Tanimbar, Indonesia. Betsi is a tough young woman who works as a fisherwoman. She has participated in various trainings conducted by Yayasan Sor Silai, a local NGO funded by Oxfam. Betsi is appointed as a Community Organiser by Yayasan Sor Silai. She is often involved in the problem-solving dialogue specially when the issue are related to women.

Betsina Petikotik

“I have gained a great deal of benefits from the Oxfam trainings.  I am aware that the role of women is important in families.  The women can even support the men to increase the family’s incomes. I go along with my husband when he goes fishing.  It was not easy at first, of course, but because I was determined to learn and practice it, I could do it by myself now, “said Betsi with a big smile.

Betsina and a fisherman

Betsi brought us to the beach.  She said, “I want to show you the boat that I use to go sail the sea.” It is not big, but enough for my husband and I.”

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As a good community organiser, Betsi said hello to the women who were around the beach and took time to talk to them.  Betsi even helped a fellow fisherwoman preparing to go to the sea.

Betsina Petikotik   

On her boat, Betsi began to share her experience with us.  While looking at the sea, she said, “The climate was excellent before.  It was generally manageable so that we could go fishing to the sea. Then again, now, it has gotten worse.  Many of us have often found it difficult to sail the sea and get a good catch.

Betsina Petikotik

Betsi said that it makes it more difficult to sail the sea in rowing boats.  “The sea is not safe for us anymore and many of the fish hide behind the reef, “she continued.  “When the wave is high, it often makes our boat go upside down.  In many cases, we have to risk our lives to sail the middle of the sea which is not comparable to a small amount of catch that we could get out of it.”

Betsina Petikotik and her girlfriends from Lermatang Village, Tanimbar Island, Indonesia

Betsi is one of the many fisherwomen in Lermatang village.  While looking at the sea, she said, “I only want the climate to change and be ‘friendlier’ because this is our main source of income.  I want to be able to continue sailing the sea with my husband.”

 

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