We only have one planet and we should all do our part to ensure that it is protected by combining our modern ways of living with a deeper respect and understanding of what nature provides. Environmental conservationists understand that the way we live is a reflection of how we feel about the natural world, and our everyday habits show how much we truly value all the things that the Earth gives us.
There is so much to do when it comes to rebuilding and protecting what is left of our precious planet and the biodiversity within our ecosystem. Environmental conservation is an umbrella term that defines anything we do to protect our planet and conserve its natural resources so that every living thing can have an improved quality of life.
Slum Go Green is one of the many organizations working towards ensuring that our environment is well protected. Their efforts are far beyond the environment as they have transformed lives too.
Brian Gisore, co-founder of Slum Go Green tells us more about his project and the impact it has had in the slums of Kibera, Kenya.
Tell us a little more about Slum Go Green and its vision
Slum Go Green is an organization aimed at having an echo conscious generation that will bring positive change and find solutions in their daily lives.
The inspiration behind starting this organization was the fact that most of my friends were thugs and they really wanted to change and transform since their families had rejected them.
When my brother shared with me the idea of environmental conservation, I embraced it and today I have managed to engage more than 17 youths
What was your drive to venture into the field of sustainability?
Being born and raised in the slum, I have experienced so many environmental challenges. The words of Obama – we are the first people to experience the effects of climate change and the last to do something about it – inspired me to take action. I do not want to see a generation that will be suffering the effects of what they have no idea about. I am passionate and ready to make the next great change as a waste revolutionary who ever lived.
What is your biggest concern about our ability as a country to create a more sustainable world?
My first concern is whether we have sustainable ideas to implement so as to transform our country. My other concern is how close is the government working with CBOs, self-help groups, women groups who are fighting to conserve the environment to ensure we have a green and sustainable environment.
How have you managed to embed sustainable thinking through recycling plastics to the people of Kibera?
By involving most of my peers in the project. This has enabled me to change their perspective about conservation. Most of them are able to sustain themselves from the earnings they get from the waste collection and this has made them embrace the idea of sustainability more. We also have programs that teach the community on the effects of waste and the magic is working.
What are some of the projects that Slum Go Green has engaged in?
Slum Go Green has been able to actualize a number of projects. Among them;
- We built a house out of glass bottles.
- We also dug a 10 feet well in Kianda area.
- We are currently running a program in Kianda Academy on artwork once a week.
- We are cultivating and selling of farmyard products such as kales, sugarcane, tomatoes, carrots. Just to mention a few.
What factors do you consider when coming up with a recycling project?
Waste producers, space for recycling and storage of the waste. Having passionate workers is key.
Do you have any investors and donors?
At the moment we only have one of us who is supporting the project with almost ¾ of his salary. But we are looking forward to get more donors and well-wishers to support and invest the agenda.
What are some of the challenges you have faced as Slum Go Green?
Lack of safety wears for work
Lack of facilitation to do it on a large scale
Some of the youths we engage fall back to crime when the group fails to provide them with enough income.
Lack of transportation fee to transport the waste from the point of collection to the center.
What is one piece of advice you would offer to someone seeking to create change in the world of sustainability?
Do it with love and passion and not money and try and research to be informed.