Teen gets creative with recycled material
The mere thought of using waste material to create handicraft and tools for daily lifestyle use may seem a difficult task, but for 13 year old Tiamoye Harding it's a hobby that quickly turned into a passion.
Harding's creative and curious nature has allowed her to utilise waste material to create affordable and environmentally friendly items through RISE Life Management Waste Innovation and Social Enterprise (WISE) Programme. The initiative which recently received a donation of $300,000 from CAC 2000 Limited, focuses on life skills training for inner city youth to create items from upcycled waste.
"The WISE programme has helped me to develop my creativity skills. It has been great focusing on the project that can help me in the future, rather than wasting my time on the weekends," said Harding. "I have been having so much fun with it, I made pots and tiles made from foam and cement and painted
over them," she said, pointing to the beautiful items she designed herself.
Harding expressed her appreciation to be a part of the initiative where she can express herself artistically while contributing to creating a cleaner environment. Harding has ambitions to create more products that can potentially blossom into a part time business.
More about WISE
"There is a great amount of talent, creativity and innovation in Jamaica. The potential for these community members to create their businesses from the skills taught here are tremendous,"said Fred Reibin, programme coordinator of WISE Programme. He also noted that social enterprises such as WISE can become a viable solutions to the waste management problem in Jamaica. The Programme which began in July of this year, has already began to impact the communities as persons have been practising better waste management habits by participating in cleanups and the upcycle skills training.
The programme is a subsidiary of the Reaching Individuals through Skills and Education (RISE) Life Management Services which began in 1989 as the Addiction Alert Organisation. Twenty-eight years later, they are now operating with the goal of uplifting communities through various interventions including sexual abuse prevention and treatment, HIV prevention and treatment, and recently, through sponsoring the WISE Programme through funding provided by the European Union's Capacity Building Management Programme.
"Even though our European Union funding cycle has ended, we know the project will be sustained through players like CAC who see potential in this project. However, our aim is that WISE will grown into a self sustained initiative through the profits generated," shared director of RISE Life Management Services, Sonita Morin Abrahams. She also hopes that RISE will be able to facilitate the business ventures of those in the community by providing mentorship.
RISE is dedicated to youth development and allows offer for creative pieces made from the WISE programme to be sold up for sale. Proceeds from the sales are given to the persons who produced the pieces same as well as and are reinvested to provide further training in communities of Rae Town and Parade Gardens where the project is currently focused.