My Story, Our Voice
Its feels like a lifetime. My journey as waste picker started about 5 years ago as a way of supplementing my household income.
My name is Peace Zambio Sedziafa, I am 70 years old. Blessed with 6 children and 20 grandchildren. It’s been 5 years since I started picking waste. For two years, I picked sachet water rubber and sold to middlemen. In the third year I expanded my operation and started buying from other women in the community to sell directly to the factories.
I have a knack for business, so I am always looking for different opportunities to do business. The Pick-It Project was offering the waste pickers in my community the opportunity to organize and build capacity in business. These activities, for a lot of us waste pickers, who have little or no education, made us feel rather important.
At my first CCB training workshop organised by Environment360, Fan Milk, MIT and WIEGO, I was a bit skeptical when I saw them bring out tools to build things. Never in my life did I think I could build anything with my hands, let alone use tools such as a drill machine, hammer and a saw. When I got home that day and showed my family what I had made from the training, my husband and grand kids were so proud of me. I taught the grand kids how to make some of the things they taught me from the CCB training. The training was a confidence booster, I could attempt to solve problems on my own.
The just-ended business co-design workshop was great. I have a better understanding of the recycling business. Knowing how intimidating it is to deal with buyers, this workshop exposed a lot of those issues such as clear knowledge of the materials I collect, how to improve my supply chain, knowing my buyer and how to confidently deal with them.
The best part of being part of this project is my direct involvement in building my own dream.