Nigeria College. Image: Billy Miaron Shutterstock
A school in Lagos, the Nigerian capital, has launched the Recycle Pay project, which allows parents of pupils to pay part of the school fees by recycling bottles, cans and cardboard or paper.
School fees are less than 10 euros, but many families cannot afford them.
In Ajegunle, one of the most populated neighborhoods in the Nigerian capital Lagos, WeCyclers, a small non-profit organization, is trying to turn a huge environmental problem into a resource for the local population. How? Allowing parents of school-age children to pay for part of their school fees with plastic bottles, cans, newspapers, and other waste for recycling.
Let’s be clear: Pollution is and continues to be a difficult problem to solve, especially in regions that lack dedicated recovery and recycling infrastructure, where waste often ends up at sea, on land or burned. The solution adopted by the African Cleanup Initiative, coordinator of the initiative, represents an effective attempt to put different needs (environmental, educational, social and labor) into the system.
Parents of students who cannot pay the full tuition for Morit International School in Ajegunle (about 9.74 euros) can compensate by recovering recyclable materials, especially plastic bottles, which, after being weighed and “transformed” into percentages of the School fees are sold to a company specialized in what has been called the Recycle Payment Project.
Class in school in Nigeria. Image: Billy Miaron Shutterstock
” For the first time in Africa a system is created that allows parents to pay school fees through the recycling of plastic bottles – explains in an interview with the BBC, Alexander Akhigbe, founder of the African Cleaning Initiative – For us it is a way of giving something back to the community, that’s why we participate with such passion in the project . “
A win-win initiative, as explained by one of the school’s spokespersons: the environment and, above all, the children (Nigeria is the country with the highest dropout rate in the world), but also the parents of the children. students, saving valuable resources, the community, rallying around a high-value initiative, and the school itself, able to raise funds continuously and faster than it could based on student availability .
In the coming months, the Recycle Pay Project should also be adopted by the Colegio Privado Monarca de Alagbado, also in Lagos. The project aims to involve 10,000 students in the next 6 years, but it could expand beyond the borders of the community in which it was born and spread as a model of success throughout Nigeria.