What is your signature innovation, your new idea, in one sentence?
We combine sanitation and nutrition in a single initiative: our waste management program produces compost for family gardens.
Describe what makes your idea unique--different from all others in the field.
We have designed a low-cost waste management system that fits the needs of communities in the Amazon and also helps feed children! We are starting to use the compost produced from our “waste” to grow vegetables to remedy child malnutrition.
Through an educational program, we have “nudged” people to change their traditional habits. Before, people were burning their waste and throwing garbage in the streets. Now, 95% of the community participates in our waste management program and even sort their waste for us! Now, we have to nudge people to make good choices about the food they grow and what they feed their kids. We will nudge people in the community, most of who are already involved in agriculture, to devote some of their land to growing the food that their kids need to grow and stay healthy. This, of course, won’t be easy. But we would nudge people by showing them the health benefits for their kids and giving them an incentive – free compost from their waste – for their land.
Do you have any existing partnerships, and if so, how did you create them?
We have a partnership with Ciudad Saludable, a leading NGO in the field of waste management, who was responsible for designing the waste management plan for the community.
We are also partners with AMANCO Peru, who design innovative technologies for rural development. They have donated a bio-digester that will provide cooking gas for the local high school lunch hall, where we will implement a nutritional plan.
We also have a partnership with ANIA (Association for Children and their
Environment), an NGO devoted to children participation in whose volunteer program we participated in the past.
We have recently started a partnership with the Regional Governnent of Ucayali to provide compost for an agro-forestry project in the community.
Finally, we are partners with INIA (National Institute of Agricultural Innovation), who provide guidance with the agricultural side of our work. The partnership started after they asked us to run a composting workshop.