We have been running a series of blog posts that show how we are creating self-sufficiency and sustainability through our work. At Action on Poverty we are proud to create ways for people to access tools to lift themselves out of poverty. We want people to be the drivers behind their own change, we assist their journeys, not dictate them.
You have been introduced to Justus and Mohammad, now to close off this series of blogs we want to introduce you to Alfred and his trainees.
Our core ethos is tied to being able to provide livelihood opportunities for people living in poverty. Giving people access to loans, training and skills equips them to become self-sufficient and less dependent on support.
Alfred is an innovator – he knew he needed to find a gap in the market to build a business that would allow him to provide for his family. He started a waste recycling business in 1992. Generally across Sierra Leone waste collection is limited, this causes waste to line the streets, clogging up storm drains, and sees increases in vermin that carry disease.
Alfred saw this problem and decided to turn it into a business opportunity.
He began ‘From Waste to Wealth.’ He upcycles waste materials into household products and construction materials.
Mixing waste plastic bags with sand allows Alfred to make bricks which can then be sold to different construction businesses. He uses aluminium cans to make cooking pots and stoves to sell at local markets.
Alfred joined our project as a trainer to cope with the demands of his expanding business. He has been able to hire 4 trainees through our work, allowing him to open a secondary workshop.
He sees this as a way to pay his success forward.
“The youths of our country need to learn how to live independently, this is the first step. Many of them are orphans so we have to here to support them. If I train them, they will then have skills to live independently.”
Not only has our project enabled Alfred to grow his business to earn greater income so that he is able to meet his basic needs more comfortably, but it has provided 4 young men with the opportunity to earn and gain skills so they too can have a brighter future.
“We are fighting for the lives of our youths”
His trainees, Jacob, John, Mostafa and Ismal earn their money per product they make. On average they can earn around 30KSL a day, which equates to around £90 a month.
Alfred also uses his surplus income to provide 2 meals per day and place for his trainees to stay.
(ALFRED’S TRAINEES L-R: JACOB, JOHN, MOSTAFA, ISMAL)
Ismal and the other trainees hope to continue their training with Alfred and then use their skills to set up their own workshops in the area.
“Without this project and this training, we would have been stuck in our villages. We would have had children and a wife we were unable to provide for. This gives us the chance to have a stronger future and to go on to train and support other young people.”