Spurring change through grassroots activism in Africa | Global Ideas | DW | 13.01.2022

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Global Ideas

Spurring change through grassroots activism in Africa

A young Nigerian environmental activist firmly believes people can live in harmony with nature. She co-founded a non-profit group to deliver that message through workshops, cleanups and various school activities.

Watch video 06:30

How a student tackles Nigeria's environmental problems

Nigeria produces millions of tons of trash each year. But less than half is collected and only around 13% is recycled. It is an environmental disaster for many communities. It's also a reason why Oluwaseyi Moejoh and a friend founded a non-profit group that brings together young volunteers to spread the word about environmental concerns

Founded in 2018, U-recycle Initiative Africa is committed to spreading ideas about a circular economy, sustainability and climate action across sub-Saharan Africa.

Young women in dresses made out of plastic waste

Oluwaseyi Moejoh leading a seminar with young women about the environmental dangers of plastic waste

Through school workshops, an environmental club and cleanups, the group is especially trying to encourage youth to take action on a number of environmental issues. Plastic pollution like bottles, recycling and upcycling are the priority. So far, they have worked on projects in 11 countries. 

The group's activities have not gone unnoticed. In 2020, they were given the "Recycling Heroes Award" by the Global Recycling Foundation. The same year, Oluwaseyi was named a "National Geographic Young Explorer."

Now U-recycle Initiative Africa is working with the National Geographic Society to try and scale up their work to reach a wider audience. 

A film by Roqan Ojomo and Wiebke Feuersenger 

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