Recycling project to help fight hunger

2018-03-08 06:00
=Mula volunteers assist children with their exchanging of Mulas for food.

=Mula volunteers assist children with their exchanging of Mulas for food.

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Pollution, poverty and malnutrition are on the increase, but a recycling and educational project in Kamesh, Uitenhage has made a remarkable impact on these issues.

For the past three years, the Uitenhage Recycling Mula Swop Shop (a registered non-profit organisation) driven by members from the community, has contributed to the removing of 73 902kg of plastic and cardboard from the area.

“Our focus is on children. The Mula is about offering children the opportunity to exchange plastic and cardboard recyclables for food, clothing, educational material or toys which are available from our on-site shop,” said Quinette Goosen, who together with Glinise Howard and Olive Grimsel founded the project.

“There are too many children going to school hungry. And too many children going to sleep with an empty stomach.”

The Mula concept is based on the principle of exchanging. Children earn Mula points through the weight of recyclables which they bring to the Mula collecting point at the Allanridge Civic Centre each Wednesday from 13:00 onwards.

In return they exchange the Mula points they have earned for food, clothing, educational items or toys. There are more than 700 children registered at the Mula project and on average 120 children visit the shop per week.

“On entering the Mula shop, the children wash their hands, enjoy a free light meal, and then are accompanied by a Mula volunteer to ‘shop’ whatever they can afford with their Mula points they have earned.

“At the start of the Mula project, children would head straight to the toys. Nowadays, they head straight to the food table. This is an indication of the changing need in our society.

“The Mula legacy is that you can do something to change your situation. Another person’s rubbish can earn you something good,” said Quinette.

The funds received from recycling companies are not enough for the Mula project to be self-sustainable. Therefore Mula volunteers have to raise funds through clothing sales and other ventures.

The project hugely depends on sponsorships and the support of the broader community.

“We wish to thank all our volunteers and sponsors for their support. Without them we would not have been able to assist the needy in the community,” said Quinette.

The Mula project would greatly appreciate more support in terms of donations to stock the shop, and even expertise or logistical support.

  • To find out how you can support the Mula project contact Quinette Goosen on 082 846 3327 or visit the Mula Facebook page.

MULA COLLECTION STATISTICS:

2015 (starting from June):

Plastic 5 255kg; Cardboard 2 099kg

2016: Plastic 16 567kg; Cardboard 9 505kg

2017: Plastic 28 843kg; Cardboard 6 332kg

2018: Plastic 4 594kg; Cardboard 712kg

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