Africa's Biggest Cleanup
11 Jul
  • By Camilla Marsh
  • Cause in

Join Africa’s Biggest Cleanup

In the lead up to Madiba’s centenary birthday on 18 July, do-gooders across the continent are joining helping hands for Africa’s biggest ever cleanup! #ActForChange hosted by Shoprite and Brownie Points, is our chance to give back to Mama Africa what we’ve taken out, and put a cap on plastic pollution for good.


Last week we gave insight into the incredible importance and impact of this campaign, today we share inspiration from cleanup host Robert Paynter of Barra Wellness in Mozambique.


On Saturday 14 July, Rob, together with 300 adults and children (with potentially 600 more!) from the local community of Barra Village, will spend the day cleaning the Nhamua suburb near famous Barra Beach. For Rob, the importance of the cleanup is not only what we pick up but also what we put in.


“Lack of education and ignorance is the problem behind pollution in our area. We saw this initiative as an opportunity to create awareness with locals about how bad habits can have a negative effect on the environment and on themselves.”


Soon after hearing about the initiative, Rob saw great opportunity in his area to encourage environmental awareness and education. He signed up as a host and called a meeting with government representatives from the village zones. The leaders were really excited about the project and felt proud to be continuing Nelson Mandela’s legacy.


“Everyone was contributing ideas about how to do the cleanup, how to organise families, and what areas they would do. A plan was put in place and quickly spread to others in the community.”


Just as a tiny mustard seed has within it the power and potential to grow into a mighty tree, Rob envisions this cleanup to be the start of something great.


“We all live in this world together and need to improve our way of living with each other to positively impact ourselves and our environment. This project is really in line with Nelson’s Mandela’s vision; as Africans we must accept responsibility that this is our environment to take care of.”


We wish Rob and his team all the best for this Saturday and look forward to sharing stories of their success next week!


If you’re keen to host your own cleanup or join one in your area, check out this quick Q&A with Blake Dyason, one of the main drivers behind the event.


How did #ActForChange come into being?

From the beginning of the year, Brownie Points had been in discussions with Shoprite about driving staff, suppliers and client volunteering. Originally the focus was on the Cape Town water crisis and then later around Mandela Day and the success of regular cleanups by the Shoprite Bloemfontein branch. As a platform that links people to opportunities to volunteer, we first discussed hosting a South African Cleanup and then, realising Shoprite has a significant African footprint, we now aim to unite Africa in a collaborative event.


What is the purpose behind this campaign?

The idea is to unite Africa in a cleanup, to create awareness around the amount of waste in our communities, to empower people to take ownership and make a difference in their own community and then to educate people about the solutions around recycling, up cycling and reusing to prevent waste ending up on our streets and in our rivers and oceans.


How do those who want to host cleanups access the info and support they need?

Go to click on “Host my own” and you’ll be lead  through an easy step by step signup. You’ll need to be part of a company, organisation or NPO and find out who your local waste removal or recycling companies are to partner with.


Please share with us the success stories, images and videos from your own events. We’re super excited to spread the love from Africa’s biggest cleanup!


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Camilla Marsh
Camilla is a curator of good cause content, nomadic writer and connoisseur of life, on a journey to help others live the best life they can. She specialises in self-development and all things happiness.

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