The Litter4Tokens campaign was first launched in December 2015 at the Ithemba Labasha Community Centre in Shakas Head byClare Swithenbank-Bowman."Ithemba Labasha has 150 young children that visit the community centre daily; attending the crèche or aftercare. The centre acts as a safe haven and educates these children while their parents go to work," explains Swithenbank-Bowman.
Operational for just over a year now,the Litter4Tokens campaign was born out of a desire to help the Shakas Head community clean up their environment to ultimately help improve their lives. Local community members are educated about the importance of recycling and the campaign continuously encourages hard work whilst at the same time feeding and clothing children and families.
"TheInstitute of Waste Management of Southern Africa proudly supports the Litter4Tokens campaign in KwaZulu-Natal as it aligns well with our goal to educate members of the community on the importance of recycling and the many different uses of waste," saysSue Beningfield, committee member at the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa's KwaZulu-Natal branch.
"The campaign aims to instil pride and respect by empowering our youth and community members to give back, work hard and to not rely on hand-outs.Community members collect recyclables and are rewarded with tokens to exchange for goods at the token shop in Ithemba Labasha," says Swithenbank-Bowman.
A local recycling company delivers recycling bags to the crèche every Monday and collects the bags on Friday.Each bag that is brought back gets a token worth R5.Collectors are able to exchange their tokens for goods, many of which have been donated or sponsored.
The token shop is stocked by the community as well as by sponsors. Dry food goods such as sugar beans, mielie meal and rice are popular items at the store as they are long-life foods that produce high quantities to feed families and keep them satiated.
"We rely on food and clothing donations;donations help stock the Token Shop which supplies food to the community as well as the volunteers at Ithemba Labasha," says Swithenbank-Bowman."We hope to eventually roll the campaign out nationwide across all schools and crèches,"she concludes.