By Chuks Oyema-Aziken
A Non-governmental Organisation, Initiative for the Advancement of Waste Management in Africa (W.A.S.T.E Africa) in partnership with Chanja Datti (Recycling) Co. Ltd. and Flexisaf Foundation has come to the aid of some indigent school children in the Federal Capital Territory.
The group has embarked on Bottles4Books Initiative to enroll and send to school out-of-school children and eradicate illiteracy in Nigeria and Africa.
The programme is sponsored by The Coca-Cola Foundation and their World Without Waste Program.
Recently, the group took the programme to LEA Primary School, Kubwa 2.
Introducing the initiative, Programme Manager, WASTE Africa, Miss Juliet Odhikori said the mission of the Bottles4Books Initiative is to provide the basic human right of quality education to out-of-school children by leveraging waste as a currency to tackle illiteracy in Africa while keeping our environment clean and promoting recycling.
According to her “the Initiative will run per academic year. The goal for this academic year is to enroll 800 children from four communities into Nursery and Primary School in partnership with Flexisaf Foundation.
“For the First Term, WASTE Africa will be funding the registration fees, school uniforms, PTA, sport wears, report card, badge and forms.
In the subsequent terms, the children’s parents and sponsors are required to collect recyclable materials such as cardboard, paper, plastic bottles, glass bottles, aluminum cans, metals, batteries etc. valued at N30/kg to keep the children in school. The value of the collected waste will be used for the payment of PTA fees for the following school Terms. This will be achieved with the partnership of Chanja Datti Ltd who will be responsible for the collection and monetization of the recyclable waste.
Speaking further, she said that currently, 428 children have been enrolled into government Primary school in Kubwa and Kabusa community in the FCT, while plans are underway to register 178 more children in Kpaduma Village and another 100 in Kano State.
“We are here today to deliver cages and scales LEA Kubwa II and LEA Kabusa to enable the clean collection and recording of the value of recyclables provided by the parents and sponsors.
“Waste collection and recording will be carried out by our community volunteers on Saturdays on a bi-weekly basis to prevent the disruption of academic activities.
“We solicit the support of members of the public to sponsor one of our identified out-of-school children by donating their trash to this worthy cause. Our mantra is ‘Give us your Trash, not your cash’, so we ask that you make a commitment to collect 500kg of recyclable waste from your home, office and from friends interested in supporting your commitment to a child in this Project.
Project Officer, Flexisaf Foundation, Usman Saad, said the programme will ensure children can pay for quality education, parents will clean their environment and children will be taught how to convert waste to wealth.
The Headteacher, LEA Primary School, Mrs Christiana Garuba commended WASTE Africa and partners and appealed to other organisations to come to the aid of less privileged.