Clean-up for a good cause

It was a happy occasion as scores of youngsters helped the students and local youth clean up Madiba Square.

A clean-up campaign with a foreign flavour was held in Madiba Square, Imizamo Yethu, recently.

The event, organised by new Imizamo Yethu cleaning services business, Asicoce, was aimed at informing children and youth about the importance of recycling and caring for the environment.

In the past few weeks, Asicoce has been assisted by Dutch students from VU University Amsterdam’s school of business and economics. They have helped the family-run business with its business plan and to become registered.

All Out Africa, a group of companies based in South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique and Botswana and which focuses on social enterprises, has also collaborated on the project.

On Friday afternoon July 28, hundreds of children gathered on Madiba Square to receive rubber gloves and bin bags ahead of the clean-up campaign.

Assisted by the Dutch students and a team led by Asicoce’s Naydia Nangamso Booi, they had a ball, running up and down the streets collecting rubbish, eager to see who would fill the most bags.

“We have been working with Nangamso for two-and-a-half weeks, and she is just such an inspiration,” said Floor van dem Driesschen, of the business school’s graduation development programme.

“The entrepreneurs are very passionate. Nangamso doesn’t just want to clean up the area, but educate people about the environment. She searches for new ways to motivate people. We are learning as much from her as she is from us.”

Asked what she thought of Hout Bay, Ms Van dem Driesschen said she was struck by the stark contrast between rich and poor, but considered the village “beautiful”.

Ms Booi said the clean-up was “chaotic at times” and there were areas that could be improved on in future events, but she was happy to see so many children participating. “It was all about spreading awareness for the environment, and I think that was a success,” she said. For their efforts, the little ones were rewarded with food and cooldrinks, which were consumed with relish.