In rural communities across Nepal, litter and plastic pollution is a major issue posing a risk to natural environments. Without efficient waste management, material waste can clog up water ways and negatively impact local wildlife.
Koudi community in the Ghorka region of Nepal is one such area. After volunteering with Raleigh in Koudi, Santosh believed there was more that could be done with young people in the community to solve the litter issue.
“I realised that engaging with younger children in the village early is key. To avoid a lack of environmental awareness and responsibility among future generations, I thought that growing an informal club with the children could help change that.”
Santosh set up Koudi Kids Club for children in the village to come together and do environmental activities for the community. Through crowdfunding, Santosh raised enough funds to purchase materials such as masks and gloves for kid’s club litter-picking activities and become litter-picking ambassadors. Through their action, they have made Koudi one of the cleanest communities in the area.
“There’s 16 children in Koudi Kids Club help keep the community clean. They get up at 6.30am and segregate into four teams, they then go about the community cleaning up. Raleigh volunteers previously dug a pit outside the community, so the kids put the trash that they collect into this pit. Anything which can be recycled, like bottles, gets collected and sold. People in the community come to buy the bottles for 1 rupee each, creating a small earning for the children as an incentive.”
The children regularly sweep the pathways around Koudi and installed 11 bins around the village to inspire further environmentalism among the community.
“The best thing about Koudi kids club is one word – sustainability. The children are most understanding about the importance of cleanliness. Before you used to see lots of garbage on the street. But now the children pick litter every day, sweep twice a week and take garbage to garbage pit once a week. When people from other communities visit this community, the first thing they see now is cleanliness. Everyone is very happy that they are able to have one of the cleanest communities around.”
Through the kid’s club, Santosh has encouraged the young generation in Koudi to become environmental champions who are inspiring positive change. With every bottle and packet collected, and with every person who’s impassioned to keep a clean environment, Santosh and the children of Koudi are making a positive impact for everyone the community.
2020 is the Year of Climate Action and young people are taking action to support the sustainability of their communities and the world around them.