My Waste, My Wealth Project

Year: 2018
Country: Malawi
Project Status: Funded
Impact Sector: Economic Opportunity
Project Investment: $5,405.60

Project Launch: 12-28-18

My Waste, My Wealth Project will young men and women in Kawale and the surrounding townships of Biwi, Chilinde I & II, Kaliyeka I & II, Mchesi and Chipasula. The project will create 20 employment opportunities for women to recycle waste at Our World International Waste Management Hotspot. The project will also employ 50 young men and 50 young women who, for various reasons, are struggling in life due to many problems such as early marriage, alcohol dependency, and prostitution among other issues.

The 120 direct employment opportunities shall be on payroll on a monthly basis after six months of completing the project. The young men will go to the aforementioned townships and collect waste once every week covering a minimum of 2,000 households, while the young women will be involved in the sorting and processing of waste. 

The project will improve the living standards of the employees, grow the business, as well as impact 5,000 children through a partnership with the primary and secondary schools in Kawale and surrounding townships.

Project Update: 9-5-19

Five months after launch, the My Waste, My Wealth project has registered great progress in managing wastes in the high dense community of Kawale. The project has targeted 40 young men and women who have been trained in Inclusive Project Management,  MarketingTraining, Financial Management and Efficiency Use of Systems and Business Planning. The participants have been involved in collection of waste materials from 200 households in the community at a fee of K2,000. Once collected, the waste materials are used to make organic manure which is sold to community members and used to grow vegetables at the project site. In partnership with International Coastal Cleaners Management, the participants will be trained in making glass tumblers from broken glass bottles which will be sold to generate income. The project has procured a solar panel system 100 gumboots, 100 work suits and 100 PVC gloves which are used by the participants. A total of 10 push carts which were used for waste collection are being repaired and a truck is used to collect the household refuse every Friday. Through this project, Our World International has been awarded a contract from Total Malawi to collect their waste in their 3 depots of Lilongwe, Blantyre and Mzuzu. This leverage will help the organization generate adequate money to pay the participants who work at the project site. Leah Kusita is 24 years old and she said,”"I have learnt that waste is not useless but useful with a changed mindset coupled with creativity and innovation. I never knew that you could make compost manure from organic waste or make tumblers from glass bottles among other environmentally friendly products which I have learnt through the project.”

Final Report: 3-10-20

Our World International (OWI), led by Mandela Washington Fellow Stephen Chiunjira, implemented the My Waste My Wealth project in Kawale, Lilongwe. The project has established a group that collects waste from over 200 registered households. The group then produces organic manure and other artifacts such as doormats, necklaces, and other decorating materials. The money generated, $1,000 per month, sustains the employment of 19 people (10 women and 9 men) who work at the center twice a week.

The project has contributed to increased sanitation and financial stability across the community. The manure products have been used to produce food crops and gardens. Noticing the impact the project is making, Total Malawi, an energy company in Malawi, partnered with Our World International to offer the waste collection services in their three main depots, increasing revenue by 20%. OWI is currently negotiating with Lilongwe City Council for a waste collection partnership which is expected to increase the number of households reached and number of people being employed.