Everyone Is Pitching In
A student-led initiative is bringing us together, sparking vibrant conversations and making an environmental impact in our community.
In January Diana won a micro-grant from MITSolv[ED] Community for her proposal to collect and compost food waste at Kilombero market, a local farmer’s market in Arusha. With her passion and perseverance, Diana inspired her mentors and peers to launch her sustainable idea.
During their 6-month Gap Year Program at The Girls Center, Gap Girls focused on developing their food waste project:
· Gap Girls completed a course on design thinking principles, social entrepreneurship, and mitigating the impact of climate change with BioEndeavor.
· They learned to compost local materials at ECHO’s East Africa Impact Center, which trains people in regenerative, environmentally friendly agricultural practices.
· When they had difficulty turning over the composted material with shovels, they participated in TWENDE’s Women in Hardware Tech workshop to learn about the design process. They built a metal compost turner to make the work easier and more efficient.
During the mornings when Kilombero market is at its busiest there can be over 500 people, mostly women, selling and buying vegetables, fruit, rice, maize, baskets, shoes. The market is crowded, filthy, smelly: during the rainy seasons it floods. When the Gap Girls started collecting food waste at the market, everyone was curious and interested.
Now the market is cleaner as entrepreneurs are following our students’ example and cleaning around their food stalls. Some are even keeping their food scraps to sell to people who own pigs.
While we’ll continue composting for our gardens, students hope to introduce this concept of collecting and composting food waste to local primary schools to improve the soil in school gardens.
During their Gap Year, students learned new skills from new teachers and mentors in our community who challenged them to think creatively and to take action.