By Inside Biz
Unemployed young people from the Lubombo region have vowed to take their communities to another level.
These are men and women between the ages of 18 and 30 who had attended an eight-hour intensive training on how to turn waste into treasure, especially for the less monied, unemployed and less-skilled.
The over 150 attendees of the workshop funded by MTN Eswatini and facilitated by Yibutse Green Action were from Big Bend, Siteki, Vuvulane, Simunye and surrounding areas.
The young people were equipped on separating waste from the source into two classes which are dry and wet waste.
The various Facilitators took them through lessons on how to manufacture all-purpose glue from used fomo packs; how to extract avocado hair and skin oil from avocado seeds and how to make pavers from melted plastic.
They were also taught how to make organic fertiliser from waste good which could be collected at domestic level from their individual households.
The Lubombo region is an agricultural community region where most people grow sugar cane. The area is not very suitable for crop and vegetables production since it is a dry region with little water.
It is from this situation that the young people saw an opportunity to implement what they have learnt to improve crop production.
The workshop involved a tour around the area where the learners were shown how to manufacture environmentally friend and cost-effective building blocks using a machine that makes 80 brinks from one bag of cement.
Leading the tour was Artist, Designer and Environmentalist Khulekani Msweli who has established a training centre for young people from the area.
Nothando Ngcwane from Big Bend said, “I want to take the lessons back to my community. I have learnt that waste is actually not waste. From now on I will be a scavenger in my community becuase I want to make sure that nothing is thrown away as everything is money.”
20-year-old Nkosinamandla Malambe said he decided to grab this opportunity so that he can get busy and effective while waiting to go to tertiary.
“I am passionate about cleanliness. This is a plus because I will be making money while keeping my area clean,” he said.
Yibutse Green Action Executive Director Musa Ndlangamandla described waste as a free raw material.
“Waste is everything. By recycling waste you are making money, on the other you are saving the environment,” he said.
He thanked MTN who is moving around the country bringing the youth together and empowering them to earn a living and to fight poverty.
The training was held as part of the MTN 21 Days of Yello Care Campaign activities. This year’s theme is Empowering Entrepreneurship to Unlock Growth and Job Creation.