This gift in action
In Nairobi's urban slums, Oxfam is helping young people earn a living from recycling rubbish – and reducing the crime rate at the same time.
In Matari North, the city council should collect rubbish twice weekly. They haven't come for three years. So, the job's fallen to enterprising youth groups like 'One Love'.
Here One Love collects and sorts rubbish from 1500-1600 households. They are part of an Oxfam-supported network which works with young people to collect and pass plastics to the network's recycling centre. Oxfam supports the groups and finances the machinery to recycle waste plastic into a sellable commodity. This generates incomes and gives otherwise unemployed young people a future.
Kalvin Otieno of One Love, and acknowledges the positive impact the project has had: "Without the group I would be dead or in prison like a lot of my classmates."
"Younger kids here see us as models. They see we work hard, but it gives us money to pay our rent and put food on the table. Some are forming groups. Fewer will go to crime than in our generation. We can save lives."
"We would like to control the recycling from start to finish. We want to see all these dirty bits of plastic turned into fence posts, bowls and sandals. Plastic recycling is win-win. We get paid and we help keep the place clean."