- The area of Sedgefield on the Garden Route has no industry and employment opportunities are limited
- The Smutsville Recycle SwopShop was launched to help break the cycle of poverty by rewarding children for recycling
- One boy showcased the value of the initiative as he saved his recycling points throughout the year to eventually get his dream bicycle
The Garden Route is known for its scenic beauty and the town of Sedgefield is no exception.
Unfortunately, it is also fast becoming known for its poverty.
No industry exists within the town so employment opportunities are few and far between, especially for those lacking in education.
The community of Smutsville, a township on the outskirts, battles poverty as a result.
FreshStart Sedgefield aims to slowly change this through their various community projects.
The not-for-profit organisation initiated a programme that enables children to recycle and upcycle waste material in exchange for points.
The Smutsville Recycle SwopShop has more than 600 children registered as collectors.
The kids can bring in recyclable material and use the points earned to purchase clothing, toiletries and other essentials.
Briefly.co.za understands that parents aren’t allowed to enter the premises, which therefore enables the child to choose exactly what he or she wants.
The project enables the children to essentially generate an income of sorts, but also teaches them the value of saving.
Each time they recycle, they earn points. They have the option to use the points immediately for smaller items or to save them up for bigger products.
Good Things Guy reported on the story of one young boy who served as a prime example for the values of the initiative.
He continuously saved his ‘mula’ points up until he was able to acquire a beautiful bicycle.
FreshStart Sedgefield shared a Facebook post in this regard: “There are no handouts at Fresh Start – hard work and saving are always rewarded with that special something that the children really want from the shop. This past week, one very happy shopper finally got to go home with a bike – and even though it was a pink one, he was overjoyed and also got a bell to go with it. Such an overload of joy and satisfaction. WELL DONE!”
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