We started this program last year and restarted again this year – cleaning up the streets of the neighborhood. (Check out the story from last year.)
Inspired by a group led by several Australians, who started a large project (usually around 25 young local people working), they have been cleaning for a few years now. Moving from one street to the next, they not only try to clean, but to inspire by word and example, that others will follow and understand what it means to clean up and keep it that way. It’s surprising how many people and store-owners now keep the area in front of their house or shop clean.
We managed to clean on a couple of Saturdays and now we hope they will keep it up once I have left. They seemed inspired at the moment, and will be helped by the chair of the group mentioned above.
It’s not easy trying to clean; the consciousness of the people is not set to keeping things clean. A couple of times I saw people cleaning out the gutters that on some streets guide the runoff water. So you clean them out and have nowhere to put the refuse. So it gets dumped back on the street. Eating something on the street or opening a package – there are no garbage cans, so everything goes on the street. They sell a lot of sugar cane in the streets, which is exactly where the rest of the cane goes, after you chewed and sucked out the juice.
They don’t have tools to clean with: shovels, pickaxes, rakes or wheelbarrows. We have an arrangement that we can use the tools of the Australians. It does matter who you know!
We’re also trying to make an arrangement with the county that they come with a garbage truck to clean up after the group has finished. That and possible tools would be a great help and stimulation for the group. Inspiration without support and tools can fade quickly.
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