Featured image via Greenish
Environmental sustainability and awareness have become increasingly relevant over the last few years. Not only are we becoming more educated on ways to decrease waste in our daily lives, but also on the potential dangers of failing to do so. As of 2018, 80 million tons of garbage are collected each year in Egypt. While this information may be harrowing, there are initiatives out there aiming to tackle Egypt’s waste crisis. The Switchers is an NGO comprised of a community of entrepreneurs in the Mediterranean region who are passionate about environmental sustainability. The program offers opportunities for networking, specialised training sessions, and ways to support funding for green initiatives. The Switchers team consists of changemakers based in places such as Cairo, Barcelona, Paris, and San Francisco.
The Switchers have recently highlighted an initiative founded right here in Cairo called Greenish. Shady Abdallah and his late co-founder Medhat Benzoher began this project in 2017 with hopes to increase awareness surrounding waste and ways to manage it. A major concern is the issue of accessibility when dealing with waste management, which is why Abdallah wants to provide companies with the resources and tools needed to address waste within their facilities, and strategies for how to turn this waste into upcycled items. Greenish plans to launch an online platform in October in which these upcycled items can be put on sale, making this project the first of its kind in Africa.
Greenish has been touring Egypt’s governates and facilitating workshops as well as partnering with schools and working with children to encourage environmental awareness. Suzanna Aprille Valle, the principal of an international school in Hurghada, raved about the mentorship programs and activities facilitated by Greenish and its impact on her students, and has stated that she would work with them again without hesitation. The initiative also collaborated with L’Oreal’s sustainability program “Sharing Beauty with All” and the Al Darb El Ahmar School for Arts, Culture and Music. Abdallah plans to expand this project to more of Africa and the MENA region in the future.