As we celebrate International Labour Day and all the hard working people around the world, we wanted to take the opportunity to highlight our project in Mathare that aims to provide much-needed employment while cleaning up the community.
With no formal waste collection facility and high unemployment, creating a space for plastic collection and recycling in Mathare made excellent sense. For this project we partnered with Futbol Mas, an award winning after-school sports and wellness program, whose team mobilized the community to create a business plan, establish a location for the workshop and start collecting and sorting plastic. All that remained was for us to help with the machines and conduct the relevant training which we completed in early December 2019. The workshop has been operational since the beginning of the year. Housed within the Valley View Academy, a primary school in the centre of Mathare, the workshop doubles as a teaching and learning space where students can learn about the plastic recycling process and get involved in collection and production.
With the enforced government closures of all schools in Kenya we have had to close our main workshop at the International School of Kenya. As a result we are now planning to shift all our production to the Mathare workshop which is still operating even though the school it is housed in is closed. The pandemic has hit the Mathare community very hard with many people losing their jobs and sources of income. Our hope is that the Plastiki Rafiki Mathare workshop can help alleviate the situation and provide much needed employment while at the same time helping to support the Futbol Mas after school program. With the planned ramping up of production at the Mathare workshop we are also currently working on an online shop so people can still buy unique and sustainable Plastiki Rafiki products without having to leave their homes. Watch this space as we announce the opening of the shop!
This labour day, fight for equal employment opportunities, fight for a cleaner and healthier environment and support Plastiki Rafiki!