Kawangware Street Youth Project: Rehabilitation powered by recycling

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For the past 10 years I have been supporting Maurice, (a former street kid) who is the head of the Kawangware Street Children & Youth Project.

The Kawangware Street Youth Project consists today of about 40 former street kids who earn an honest living making paper bags for retail outlets.

They are simultaneously supporting and important environmental issue as even Kenya moves to encourage retailers to use paper bags, which a recyclable, rather than plastic bags.

On my Bush Friendly girls safari to Shaba I shared some info about this project to my new friend Dorothy, who herself grew up in Kawangware, educated herself and has recently returned to Kenya from the UK.

Sammy, Lisa, Maurice and Dorothy outside the Kawangware street children centreDorothy used to work with the Virgin Group in England, and saw that, due to rebranding, the company was preparing to throw away hundreds of T-shirts. She took the initiative, and at her own expense shipped the T-shirts to Kenya. When Dorothy learned about this wonderful project, she straight away asked me if I would take her to meet these former street kids –and off we went indeed, one beautiful morning, to Kawangware.

Dorothy had the pleasure of handing out a T-shirt to each worker, as they told their individual stories and how proud they were of their achievements. From the humble earnings they make from making paper bags, gift paper & gift cards from recycled paper, some send money home to their families and others pay for further schooling.

We both left this project after spending an entire morning with these wonderful human beings, thinking, “How could we help further?”

Step one is to create awareness that this wonderful project actually exists and for each of you to share with your friends in retail that they can contact Maurice or Augusto, who is the Project Coordinator on this email: [email protected] and have their very own custom hand made recycled paper bags made in almost any size.

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You can also visit their website at www.africabags.com

 

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