TRY is an organization in The Gambia that empowers women by training them and giving them the tools to harvest oysters. The women sell their oysters alongside the roads in Gambia’s capital city Banjul, offering them for $.55 US dollars for 75 pieces of oyster meat. While entering the oyster harvesting industry has been a tremendous boon for the 500 women involved in TRY operations, their income is still scant, especially during the dry season in which oysters cannot be harvested.
The idea for an ecotourism venture evolved from the director of TRY, a Gambian woman named Fatou Janha, who observed groups of tourists being bussed to the TRY mangroves from neighboring hotels to observe the ecosystem (which has been designated as a Ramsar site) and watch the process of harvesting. TRY receives no income from these tours. However, the hotel-directed tours conducted into the mangroves made Fatou realize that there was a market for ecotourism. TRY seeks to partner with hotels and add value to their current ecotourism ventures by offering a tour led by English-speaking TRY members, involving tourists in some kind of cultural dialogue with the women, selling crafts or souvenirs made by the women, and offering an oyster cooking class. TRY seeks to assume revenue from these partnerships to fuel its expansion as an organization and provide needed income for the women harvesters and their families.