One of my favorite things about running The Smile Project blog is all the inspiration I gain from talking with changemakers across the world. This week is no exception. Maulidi Hamisi Mwinyikai is the Executive Director of the Kishoka Youth Organization in Mtongwe, Mombasa, Kenya.
Keep reading to learn more about his great work.
Liz: Let’s start in traditional Smile Project fashion. Give me a “Happiness is.”
Maulidi: Happiness is changing the mindset of my fellow youths.
Liz: What is the Kishoka Youth Organization?
Maulidi: Kishoka Youth Organization is an Art, Development and Environmental community-based organization dedicated in mobilizing young people and assisting them identify their potential. Kishoka helps to nurture the potential of youths into skills that offer an opportunity for them to earn a decent livelihood and at the same time empowering them to actively participate in socio-cultural activities, economic ventures and political development of their communities.
Environmental Issues & Justice
The program is aimed to achieve these purposes. Firstly, to make school and community a litter free place to live in. Secondly, to transform these eyesore objects into aesthetically decorative items so as to create a better physical ambience and for youths to earn a decent livelihood through plastic waste. Thirdly, it is felt that in order to live in harmony with natural environment, we need to stop polluting right away.
We felt that it is equally important for the community to know the dangers of unmanaged plastic wastes in order to develop love and respect for our nature. This program is also aimed to pool all the plastic wastes in one place, reuse them in the form of building materials, ECO-BLOCKS, until we have pooled enough to build classrooms, houses and perimeter walls. We want to encourage schools, youths and community members at large to follow this example.
Liz: What is the driving force behind what you do?
Maulidi: Passion and environmental love.
Liz: What does service mean to you?
Maulidi: Service is a valuable action, deed, or effort performed to satisfy a need or to fulfill a demand.
Liz: How can people get involved?
Liz: Anything else you'd like to add?
Maulidi: We use SAID Methodology in reaching the community, for the method is both cross-gender rights based, works in an inclusive, participatory, process and result focused manner. It is an approach that seeks to utter words so as to convey information, an opinion, a feeling or intention to sensitize and empower the community to stand up and be the voice of change on issues affecting the community.
Liz: Do you have a piece of advice or favorite quote you want to share?
Maulidi: The growth that we want is one that brings real benefits to the people, raises quality and efficiency of development, and contributes to energy conservation and environmental protection.