The ISWA Kids were greeted by a very special guest this passed weekend. President of the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), Antonis Mavropoulos, came all the way from Greece to meet the ISWA Kids and see what The ISWA Scholarship Programme has been doing this past year. He didn't come empty-handed either. He brought us Grecian sweets and many mindful lessons to chew on.
Antonis showed much gratitude for the families in their effort to recycle. He thanked them for contributing to a cleaner Earth, even if the intention was indirect. However, he reminded them of the health risks with informal recycling directly from the trash and encouraged families to stay motivated by education. Both the parents and children must understand the importance of education for their futures. For the more time in the dump, is less time in the classroom. Which could lead to a road much tougher to travel. He also reminded them of the possibility that the dump may not be there for them when they are older. Therefore investing in education now is the quickest route out of poverty and their dependency on the trash.
Antonis took the time to visit our scholarship kids living in Nueva Vida and a squatter community alongside the lake. Though our tour directly inside La Chureca was impossible because of heavy rains, he got a little taste of the conditions at Nueva Vida dump site.
We had a wonderful time with Antonis. It was really beneficial for the kids and parents to meet the President of ISWA because they understand more that the program is serious about helping them and will be there for them in the future. I could tell that by the end, the kids touched Antonis' heart too... as those little angels are always notorious for.
Learn more about The ISWA Scholarship Programme at ISWAkids.com, the International Solid Waste Association at ISWA.org and the work of Antonis Mavropoulos at WastelessFuture.com. People are always welcomed to visit with project ideas that will benefit the community here and donations are always accepted too.
See you soon!
- Timothy Bouldry