November 25, 2021

Explore Ways to Sustain Our Environment on Black Friday

By Denise
Environment

Komb Green Solutions Leads the Way in Environment Conservation

Welcome to Korogocho, Kenya, one of the largest slums in Nairobi and home to approximately 200,000 people. We are incredibly inspired by the work of our new partner in Korogocho, Komb Green Solutions. By looking for sustainable approaches to improve their environment, they have helped the community in unexpected ways.

Founded in 2017 by 5 young people as a community volunteer organization, Komb Green set out to reclaim land along the river known as a dumpsite and crime hotspot. Their initial motivation was to find ways to ensure clean air and water for future generations, but the solution accomplished so much more.

Now known as People’s Park, the former dump’s environment has been completely transformed into a safe space for children to play and women to rest. It features grass, plants, and bamboo trees (which absorb more carbon and release more oxygen than other trees); a colorful playground; and an urban farm. Criminal activity is practically non-existent in the area, and police use Komb Green as an example of what can be accomplished when the community and law enforcement work together.

Komb Green has grown to 70 active members, many of whom left a life of crime. The organization helped 27 members earn certification in ecosystem management and 20 women who are now trained in carpentry. They also mentor youth groups, who help maintain the park and learn about the environment.

So how is Photo Start supporting this incredible organization?

The program has 4 main goals:

  • Trainmembers to better document their work with photos and videos.
  • Teach the elements of storytelling and how to best tell their stories.
  • Implement a sustainable photography program by certifying members as trainers themselves, who will instruct youth groups under their mentorship, including a group of children with cerebral palsy.
  • Establish an income-generating business by offering paid photography lessons and event photography services. 

 

Classes began on September 13 with 15 students aged 18-35, who will meet twice a week for the next 6 months. Chairman Faries Kahuha is confident in our success: “We have heard great things about how photography can change lives, and we believe with what we have already experienced with Photo Start in just a few days, we are going to achieve our goals”.

The Photo Start program for Komb Green is a perfect example of our flexibility in customizing the ideal partnership for any type of organization. Do you know a group trying to make the world a better place and give our children a brighter future? We want to work with them! Email our Director, Abby Lehman, to start exploring opportunities.

Environment
Before and after photos courtesy of Public Space Network

9 TIPS FOR TURNING BLACK FRIDAY INTO GREEN

  1. Hitting the stores: Take public transportation, carpool, or plan your route to minimize mileage.
  2. Love on the locals: Look for locally made items from small businesses, artists, and craftspeople.
  3. Shop secondhand: There are treasures to be found in thrift shops –from clothing to home goods, books, musical instruments, and much more.
  4. Be thoughtful: Make sure the gift has purpose and will be enjoyed by the giftee.
  5. Think minimal: Purchase products with little or no packaging; especially avoid non-recyclable plastics.
  6. BIY -Bag It Yourself: Don’t forget your reusable shopping bags!
  7. Wrap wisely: Use recycled paper and gift bags or get creative –roll ties for Dad and put inside matching socks or wrap that World’s Best Mom mug in a reusable cloth napkin and cinch with chip clips. Being eco-friendly can be fun!
  8. Get away from glitter: These microplastics are in cards, wrapping paper, clothing, and even beauty products. They are difficult to dispose and toxic to marine life.
  9. Gift a holiday tree: The Trees Remember plants trees in honor of your giftee in U.S. National Forests damaged by forest fires and other disasters.

 

KEEP UP WITH OUR SUPPORT OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND OTHER ISSUES AFFECTING OUR FAMILIES IN AFRICA AND THE UNITED STATES

Follow us on Instagram for the latest stories and images from Komb Green Solutions and the rest of our Partners. Nowhere else will you get a kids-eye view of communities as they recover from the pandemic and build a brighter future. Watch @PhotoStartWorld for the best of our photojournalism assignments and @PhotoStartKids for all student work. They amaze us every day!
 

Also, you can follow the work of Komb Green Solutions on Facebook.

 

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"There’s no better way (to help) than just linking up with an organization like Photo Start that is actually helping people directly... it’s an honest and transparent organization that keeps helping people." - Stephen Nzusa