Youth Sustainable Waste Management Business Assistance Program
Youth Sustainable Waste Management Business Assistance Program
Solution proposed by:
To provide income for former child soldiers now turned youth. And, second, to deal with the problem of improper waste disposal and environmental pollution
In a Nutshell:
After 14-year civil war ended and a democratic government elected in Liberia, Jarius Andrew Greaves saw mountains of garbage piled up everywhere in Paynesville City, polluting the air quality and presenting health risks to residents. The Paynesville City government had little or limited capacities and resources to deal with the mammoth tasks of collecting the garbage to keep Paynesville clean. He initiated an innovative strategy to collect solid domestic wastes and to properly dispose them. He calls it Youth Sustainable Waste Management Business Assistance Program (YSWMBAP). YSWMBAP is the Entrepreneurship arm of YONER-LIBERIA and it serves dual purposes in Paynesville City, a suburb of Monrovia. YSWMBAP has two goals: first, to provide income for former child soldiers now turned youth. And, second, to deal with the problem of improper waste disposal and environmental pollution. We recruit youth between 18 and 25 years from within their own communities. They collect solid wastes from residents’ homes and businesses and dispose them properly. Other youth workers collect, buy, and resell recycling materials. We then resell the recyclable to bigger companies that turn the recyclables into various products that get back to the market. We have a plan to carryout recycling, but due to limited resources, we are supplying other bigger companies as we anticipate to establishing a recycling plant in the near future. We then use funds from these projects to compensate the youth workers to support their livelihoods, to address their idleness, and to empower them socio-economically and portion is used to repair, replace and purchase new project equipment. The project has provided 31 jobs for the youth. We pay our volunteers L$$4000.00/U$50.00 per month. Through the Business we have been able to direct portion of the funds to our Local Scholarship Program (LSP) which has provided scholarships to over 100.
Where and When:
YSWMBAP serves dual purposes in Paynesville City, a suburb of Monrovia. After 14-year civil war ended and a democratic government elected in Liberia, Jarius Andrew Greaves saw mountains of garbage piled up everywhere in Paynesville City, polluting the air quality and presenting health risks to residents. The Paynesville City government had little or limited capacities and resources to deal with the mammoth tasks of collecting the garbage to keep Paynesville clean. I initiated an innovative strategy to collect solid domestic wastes and to properly dispose them in 2012.
After 14-year civil war ended and a democratic government elected in Liberia, Jarius Andrew Greaves saw mountains of garbage piled up everywhere in Paynesville City, polluting the air quality and presenting health risks to residents. The Paynesville City government had little or limited capacities and resources to deal with the mammoth tasks of collecting the garbage to keep Paynesville clean.
The innovation is that YONER is a non-profit organization but uses a business model. For example, residents subscribe to YONER waste management program and pay a modest weekly fee. YONER then provides metal containers in subscribers’ homes and employs youth workers who regularly collect the wastes and dispose them. Today, Paynesville residents and visitors breather fresher air and see little or no garbage piles like before YONER existed. This project is also innovatinve int hat it engages local communities to identify and solve their problems. For example, through my leadership, YONER provides stable, monthly income for the youth workers it has employed and retained over three years. And the program provides a platform to engage idle youth in a meaningful venture that puts food on their table, makes them independent, and improves the quality of their life
An important step to motivate and engage the local communities, we will continue to use the customer discovery survey or the evidence-based enterprising and the promotion of entrepreneurship strategies. We will gather information through this strategy to understand how customers would want their waste be collected and what amount they can afford to pay, frequency of collecting their waste per week and how to pile up at their waste for our youth workers to easily pick up and dispose properly at the secondary sites. We will then be positioned to better make adjustments where applicable. Another strategy is to engage with the communities and the public via continuous public awareness campaigns based on a public IEC strategy. Activities will, for instance, include promotion of the RRR-slogan – reduce, reuse, and recycle – advertisement on publicity boards, on local radio channels, and in local newspapers, as well as workshops, exhibitions, lectures, and street plays. Through our customer discovery survey at the start of the business, our customers are placed in three categories for weekly or monthly garbage fees. Here are the results of the survey that we have since being working with: Some pay weekly fees of US$.25, US$1.50 and US$.50 respectively. Some pay per week while other pay the total per week at the end of the month. Residents in the community are disposing their solid waste by themselves, which causing serious health hazards in the communities because wastes are being placed at public places, anywhere behind their homes or offices. This is causing the increase of childhood illnesses, and malaria as well as typhoid cases. We have had over a hundred customers who had understood the concept of our business, and provided their views on how the business can run well through assessment, interviews and house-to-house visitation and interaction. We are now collecting their wastes twice a weekly, & help us pile up their waste well. Other youth workers collect and buy recycling materials (paper, metals, iron, canes, Tetra Pak, cartons, and pet bottles). We then resell the recyclables to bigger companies and they either turn the recyclables into various products in country or export that get back to the market. We have a plan to carryout recycling, but due to limited resources, we are supplying those bigger companies for now with a plan to establish a recycling plant in the near future. The fund generated from these two sources, the waste collection and recyclables are used to pay our youth workers, repair, and replace damaged equipment, and save portion for future investment for other purposes intended to boost the business. Our customers pay weekly or monthly
The innovation initially targets Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. The issue of waste management in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea and its related challenges including improper disposal is a serious health hazards that US Center for Disease Control attributed as a result of the rapid spread of the Ebola which killed more than 5000 people just in less than four month just in Liberia. Half of the 64% of Youth that constitutes Liberia’s total population were affected by the 14-year of civil war and have no education and skills to find a job. Also, as an entrepreneur, I have seen a great opportunity for scalable business in this sector as it can create thousands of jobs for idle youth, war-way youth and provide income fort them to enable them put food in their homes and meet their basic social needs. The location or target areas of the project majority of the residents are illiterate and lack knowledge and ideas in the waste sector. As a result of this, waste control is a serious problem as waste/garbage is thrown in public areas and unauthorized locations. This is posing serious hazardous condition within the environment-leading to increase in malaria and typhus cases in clinics and hospitals as indicated in statistical report produced by the Liberian Ministry of Health. There is increased in misquotes as a result of garbage being placed anywhere by residents. Seventy-five percent (75%) of the beneficaries are women. In Liberia, women take care of homes and take on domestic responsibilities including the preparation of food, cleaning of homes. These contribute to the production of garbage and environmental pollution. They are in majority who own and run businesses within the manucipality.
Currently, we are collecting garbage from 100 households and small businesses and provided 11 full-time and 20 part-time jobs for idle and civic war affected youths who are involved with waste collection of garbage from homes and small businesses and removal of bad log -garbage piled up at unauthorized places in the communities and collecting, buying and reselling of Recyclables. We pay our youth workers L$$4000.00/U$50.00 per month. Through the Business we have directed funds to our Local Scholarships which has provided scholarships to over 100 students in elementary and high schools, vocational/technical training schools, and universities in Liberia. In the next three to five years if resoruces are available, we foresee continuous employment opportunities and a guaranteed salary and other benefits including medical, education and transportation allowances for employees and youth volunteers. We anticipate providing bettwen 10-50 jobs, extend in half or all communities in Paynesville and two to three counties of Liberia. Funds generated portion will be reinvested to establishing a scholarship foundation as component of the initiative to go towards children and youth human development skills across the country and the sub-region. There will also be opportunities for the start-up of micro-enterprises in waste collection and setting up of community based waste collection clubs and recycling. We will work alongside with other groups working in the sector for capacity building and continual networking; to train Self Help Group members and assist them in credit access and market tie-ups. We will setup community based neighborhood waste collection to be managed and own by committed volunteers. Residents will learn how to properly pile up their waste for collection and dispose appropriately by our team, youth will have reliable source of income, and students receive scholarships to go to school to secure a better future. This program is a high impact project that African leaders can scale in other countries, therefore, we will work with other youth organizations within the African Youth Leaders Network based in Sierra Lone and Guinea to scale this project to help keeps the environment safer and cleaner and improves young people’s lives within the sub-region. YSWMBAP educates households to dispose domestic solid wastes appropriately with the goal to clean the community to prevent diseases. For example, YSWMBAP provides garbage disposal containers in neighborhoods and educates each household to dispose their solid wastes in those containers. And YSWMBAP employs underprivileged youth ages 18-25 to collect the wastes daily, transfer them to a larger waste collection site, and receive monthly wages.