What we do
Recycle Up! Ghana is an international initiative which thrives to empower the Ghanaian youth. Empowerment is a fuzzy buzz word, so what does it mean for RUG?
Well there are many definitions for it. For a start let’s look into the Oxford dictionary. Here it is defined as: “Authority or power given to someone to do something.” or “ The process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one’s life and claiming one’s rights.” So it is about making people (in our case the youth) stronger in order to do something or create change. The question is how that can be done?
Well, there are certainly many ways and tools how somebody could be empowered. In the following there is a description of the methods and formats we have use and/or have developed. They are quite diverse however, what applies for all of them is that they are participant-centred learning processes, team-based and within the framework of non-formal education.
Recycle Up! Incubator
Launched in 2019, the Recycle Up! Incubator seeks to build young entrepreneurs in pursuit of innovative entrepreneurial solutions towards the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This involves a six-month non-residential incubator training which includes various trainings and coachings by experts. The entrepreneurial solutions are aimed at having a high social impact as well as being sustainable businesses.
Recycle Up! National Waste Education Campaign (NWEC)
The Recycle Up! Nationwide Waste Education Campaign (NWEC) is launched in 2019 and presents an extension of our Summer Camp concept at school level. NWEC aims at professionalizing and intensifying our environmental education concepts as well as broadening our scale to reach more schools across Ghana. For more detailed information, please click here.
Recycle Up! Summer Camp
I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand. – Confucius
The Recycle Up! Ghana Summer Camp is a two week long intense training event which aims at equipping young talented Ghanaians with the right tools to become agents of change in their society.
It follows a threefold character which begins with the so called knowledge phase about environmental and waste mangement knowledge and softskill development. In the following experience phase, participants explore their local areas through different kinds of fieldtrips. The ultimate solutions phase encourages participants to develop and design possible solutions to the waste challenges identified and implement them in their educational institutions.
Since 2014 Recycle Up! Ghana has implemented six Summer Camps in the cities of Accra, Cape Coast and Kumasi. By doing so we have trained more than 150 young Ghanian change makers and almost 30 projects were implemented by then.
Recycle Up! Startup Weekend
A lack of institutions or companies treating and managing plastic waste is one of the major reasons for the severe plastic pollution in Ghana. Thus we are committed to contributing to the development of business possibilities in this sector. The Recycle Up! Startup Weekend is a weekend long event during which groups of students and young entrepreneurs come together to develop new ideas in order to tackle the waste management challenge through an entrepreneurial approach. During the weekend the young changemakers pitch their ideas, form teams around them and work hard on developing their ideas further together. On Sunday evening those ideas are presented to a group of judges.
The Recycle Up! Ghana Startup Weekend provides young spirited entrepreneurs with the appropriate methods to take their ideas to the next level and builds a supporting network of like minded changemakers.
Recycle Up! Your School
This program was designed by our participants of the first Summer Camps in 2014 and is currently running at 22 schools in Kumasi, Cape Coast and Accra and since 2016 also in various additional schools in Togo. This project is always implemented with the support of experienced Recycle Up! Mentors. It combines children empowerment through education with the infrastructural provision of waste segregation systems at schools. It is mainly driven by students from junior and senior high schools gathering schoolmates in order to establish Recycling Clubs at their respective schools. These students act as ambassadors creating awareness about plastic pollution among the kids and promoting waste segregation as a means of solving this problem locally on their school compounds. Participating schools act as role models for the children and support a more environmentally aware and empowered generation of change-makers.
EduPlast stands for “Education on Plastic Waste” and represents an online and offline awareness creation project driven by university students from University of Ghana in Accra. The project does educate the University of Ghana populace and beyond about plastics and waste in general, latest news in these fields as well as presentation of pragmatic solutions to the plastic waste menace. Activities include mass education on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, the University’s Radio Univers as well as pre-lecture addresses and church addresses. The project has won admiration from many lecturers and faculty members. The Institute of Environment & Sanitation Studies has recommended to extend the project to a greater coverage.
Campus Dustbin Project
The focus of this project is the provision of waste segregation and disposal systems on university campuses and the establishment of a well-functioning network between universities and local plastic waste buyers in order to enable further processing and recycling of produced waste. Generated revenues from selling collected wastes are reinvested into the project aiming at a self-sustainable expansion. This project seeks to create more awareness among university students and staff members about plastic pollution and about ways to tackle it locally. Campus Dustbins Projects are currently running at Cape Coast Technical University and University of Ghana, Accra.
REBECA – the RecycleUp Electronic Buddy for EduCation and Awareness
A big challenge related to (plastic) waste pollution is a lack of awareness of its disastrous consequences for our health, environment and society. Many people neither know about this negative impact nor have an idea how to take action and uncover solutions and business opportunities in this sector.
At the same time, young Ghanaians are very enthusiastic about social media and extremely active on the messenger apps on their smartphones. Using these channels to engage with potential changemakers, a small team within Recycle Up! set out to scale our educational mission using chatbots and tools from technology enhanced learning.
REBECA, the “RecycleUp Electronic Buddy for EduCation and Awareness” presents an innovative and interactive way of storytelling: instead of having to read a long newspaper article, e.g. about marine litter, REBECA can engage with you in your favourite messenger app and confront you with a bite-sized piece of information. It asks for your opinion or comment and depending on what you reply, tells you something more.