Oaxaca is the second poorest state in all of Mexico. 60% of the population lack basic services such as water and waste disposal. The option for people who live in slums, the majority of whom are women and children, is to burn or simply dump their trash on the streets.
Our non-profit organization, SiKanda has been working with at-risk communities in Oaxaca since 2008. For families in these areas, a worm composting solution that processes organic waste will improve health and sanitation while also providing income and restoring dignity.
Mothers, children, and the elderly who live in slums are particularly vulnerable to waste accumulation. According to the United Nations, garbage accumulation increases diarrheal diseases, which occupy the second place in the factors that increase world and particularly child mortality.
But waste CAN be turned into compost, because most of trash in poor neighborhoods is ORGANIC!
We believe collaboration is fundamental to improving lives in marginalized communities. With this in mind, SiKanda has been laying the groundwork for a cooperative worm-composting center to be founded in 2012. The Worm Composting Center of Oaxaca (WCCO) will provide continuous, hands-on training in worm composting for families, schools and communities who live in marginalized neighborhoods.
How it Works
Organic waste is produced by neighborhoods with little or no access to waste collection services. The simple process of collecting the trash will directly benefit at least 2,000 people. Their waste will be transferred to the WCCO where it will be placed in large bed structures and red worms will feed on it.
The equation is simple, but powerful: Trash + Worms = Organic Fertilizer. The fertilizer generated can then be used for growing vegetables or for cash sale. In the first year alone, the center plans to train 8,000 people and foster vermiculture as a micro business for 200 families.
The Worm Composting Center of Oaxaca will also train other communities to replicate the model of processing organic waste for fertilizer production. The educational programs at the center will "pay forward," encouraging sustainability in these areas and in successive generations.
What We Need & What You Get
SiKanda has obtained 70% of the funds to set up the WCCO, most of which come from the support of Halloran Philanthropies. In order to complete the construction of the WCCO and implement its educational programs, we need to raise $15,000. Half of this money will go toward construction materials, and the other half will provide educational materials, hand tools, and staff wages. The WCCO is designed to be self-sustaining and only requires a one-time donation.
Depending on the level of your contribution, we are pleased to offer you several gifts from Oaxaca including: SiKanda’s feature-length documentary about the lives of people living in landfills (Pepenadores); a booklet of recycling secrets; an inscription of your name on our wall of fame in the WCCO, and Oaxacan greeting cards.
Other Ways You Can Help
Please tell your friends, family and co-workers about SiKanda's important work with the Pepenadores and the families who live in slums. You can host a party or organize a fundraising event in your community to raise money and awareness for our programs.
Together, we can continue our mission towards a fair and just world!