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Social Suitcase

Collect, recycle, share with needy...Give smile!

Photo of Charles Mbatsogo
8 5

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Sustainable development is at the heart of global concerns. Initiatives are steadily increasing from the earth summit to cop 21. Economic efficiency, ecological responsibility, social solidarity and intercultural responsibility are the objectives to be achieved at both global and local level. The implementation of Agenda 21 in each STATE involves the implementation of various activities.

The Cameroonian government, development partners and civil society work - each according to its prerogatives - to implement the objectives of sustainable development. This vast field of action requires the mobilization, the involvement of all the actors and the innovation in order to reach the expected objectives.

It is in this perspective that fits our project that results from several observations:

- Many people face the problem of clothing and lack of basic commodities in our towns and villages. While some throw them or burn them;

- Many children are born in our maternity homes without any diapers while others are in abundance and opulence;

- Many people are having trouble getting their shoes on. While next to them, the shoes are burned and poured into the rivers;

- In our cities and countryside, there are many children who do not have school bags;

- Our bins are flooded with used clothes, old bags, old blankets, old shoes and so on;

- In our families people shared clothes, bags and shoes. It is often given to brothers, cousins, etc.

- Magico-religious conceptions urge both to abandon this practice of sharing "their intimate objects";

- Technological development contributes to the emergence of a consumer society characterized by the production and use of gadgets of all kinds.

Our idea bring a solution to these by collecting, recycling and giving smile.

Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

Beneficiaries - Street hawkers - The orphans - Old people - The refugees

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

We promote circular economy with an humanitarian aspect (we give smile to needy through redistribution) and with we help reducing social inequalities.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

We answer a social core need and we do more with less. Our project has a double dimension (social and environmental). We help vulnerable people and we reduce the level of waste in our cities.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Initial Design: I am exploring the idea, gathering the inspiration and information I need to test it with real users.
  • Prototype: I have done some small tests or experiments with prospective users to continue developing the idea.
  • Pilot: I have started to implement the idea as a whole with a first set of real users.
  • Early Adoption: I have completed a pilot and analyzed the impact of that pilot on the intended users of the idea. I have begun to expand the pilot for early adoption.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

GREEN LIFE ACT is a common initiative group created in June 2017 by passionate and experienced young people. Based in Yaoundé, it mainly covers three areas of activity:  The circular economy  Social action  Hygiene and local environmental education

Expertise in sector

  • 1-2 years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered social enterprise.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

In Cameroon, Urbanization is sadly disconnected to economic growth and leads to social and environmental issues. And in a context where public policies can not solve all the problems it is important for us young people to lay a relevant contribution as change makers. It is in this light that our organization try to reduce social inequalities and fight against urban pollution through circular economy.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

Our cities are full of waste and child hawkers as well as insecurities due to the lack of good integration of people. It is therefore important to bring sustainable solutions in order to empower vulnerable people and preserve peace in Cameroon. Circular economy is one of the solution for that purpose.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

They trust us and accompany us in our social commitment :  France Volontaire  the Ministry of Social Affairs

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

Young people ready to give what they have, support of our partners, commitment of our members, sustainability of the projects and its innovative side.

Geographic Focus

Cameroon, especially Yaoundé and its outskurts for the moments.

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

12 months

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No


Join the conversation:

Photo of SIMN Global

Hi, Charles! Could you expand on your idea of a circular economy? What exactly would this project do? Thanks!

Photo of Charles Mbatsogo

Thank you SIMN Global for your concern. As you know, the traditional model of economy is all about produce, consume and dispose, thus creating a huge level of waste and environmental issues. Circular economy brings a revolution in this system by focusing on recycling, revalorisation and reuse of disposed items. Our project "Social suitcase" is concerned about the idea of promotion solidarity and reducing social inequalities through circular economy. In fact we try to collect and recycle items (clothes, shoes, toys, books, and other useful materials) that people do no longer use in our cities in order to redistribute them to needy (street hawkers, neglected elderly, refugees, orphans) in areas where people lack of basic commodities. It involves communication and reclycing skills, devotion and energy that my team has. We can also count on our friends and institutional partners to spread the message, create awareness and collect items for our project. For now, we try to mobilize ourselves where we are called to donate and where we have noticed a special need (after conducting formative research). But to sustain this project we also organize training session on recycling and green entrepreneurship in order to have a relevant impact on vulnerable people (we teach them how to fish instead of just giving them fish). That's what we do and we are open to external contributions in order to improve the project and have a great impact on the field. Hope You could join us...

Photo of SIMN Global

Got it, that makes more sense. Thanks!

Photo of Charles Mbatsogo

You are most welcome ☺ !!!

Photo of Meli Clo

Hello Charles!
There's a lot of potential here! How do you find items to collect? Will you collect straight from the homes of people who are donating the items? Do you think you will need storage space?
I agree that this problem addresses Prosperity Peace and Planet! Great job!


Photo of Charles Mbatsogo

Hello Meli Clo, I appreciate your interest in our project. Indeed we collect items straight from the homes of people who are donating. We also have have a storage space in our headquarter where so we sort, clean, recycle and package and store the collected items. We are working to develop storage point in every city so as to ease our activities. But in the same time our aim is also to create awareness and promote solidarity through the concept of circular economy. There is a lot to do out there to reduce social inequalities but we are working daily to bring solutions to needy. We are actually open to additional options that can help us reaching more people and sustain the idea.

Photo of Carolina Mndz

WOW! I see a lot potential here. How is your organization relation with other community stake holders such as government or other local nonprofits?

Photo of Charles Mbatsogo

Thanks Ms Carolina, actually we benefit from the institutional support and expertise of the ministry of social affairs and environment as well as the expertise of other nonprofits organization. The government provide us technical assistance in order to access our target and ease our actions on the field. We also have associations that help us collecting items and communicate on the project. We can not do everything by ourselves since we are a young organization.