Saturday beach clean-ups see our Mentawai team along with a horde of student helpers clean up a targeted stretch of coastline in the Tuapejat area, including several islands lying just offshore.
Locals who live along the beach, seeing youth hard at work, join in. This has resulted in several local businesses setting up “drop off” points where people can bring their plastic waste.
Local entrepreneur Manalu, featured in the picture with team members Nidar and Fuji, receives all the plastic waste we collect, sorting it in to codes which are then sent to Padang and recycled.
Cross-sector initiatives being set up as direct consequences of our programmes mean impact. Primary stakeholder engagement and buy-in happens organically, appropriate to the locale and communities and with scope to innovate.
Shared experiences bringing different sectors of society together to face a challenge and then working together to see how each can contribute to a workable solution is a realistic and cost-effective approach. The all important “how” part of the implementation phase of a project is addressed collaboratively in the location rather than using a pre-conceived “plan” often proposed by those without experience operating on the ground and who are looking for pre-decided results and outcomes that fit their model and framework. The latter approach is often inappropriate, has no long-term feasibility, is expensive and significantly does not allow for what can be discovered and learnt along with way.