In 2014, the foundation’s founder Theda Gräfin Knyphausen first made contact with Joyce Malema, an expert in Maun’s local educational scene, because the German “waste expert” Klaus Schätte, who has run a variety of waste projects in “Third World” countries, was coming to the country and had offered to share his knowledge with the schools in Maun.
Joyce Malema got in contact with the local schools and has been organising and managing all of the meetings on site ever since. She is also vitally important whenever there is a need for translation. English is the official and school language of Botswana, but many children who have Setswana as their first language find it difficult to understand English.
The waste disposal company Gecco Investments is another important partner. Gecco Investments is also based in Maun. It prepares waste for transport to South Africa for recycling.
To date, over 300 children at nine schools have been introduced to the principles of responsible waste handling at multiple sessions.
- The first meeting deals with the three hours of waste management: reduce, reuse, recycle. In the practical section, the children help to separate the waste into eight different bins (paper, glass, metal, soft plastic, hard plastic, plastic bottles, compost and non-recyclable).
- The second meeting is an opportunity for the children to talk about what they have learnt about waste and provides some more information.
- A “waste quiz” is held at the last meeting. The child with the best score and another child who has shown a particularly high level of commitment are allowed to take part in the “Kids to the Bush” safari.
These three stage training sessions are held twice a year and give around 20 children an opportunity to earn a spot on the “Kids to the Bush” safari.
Joyce Malema was born on 30/09/1966 (the day on which Botswana became independent) in Mookane.
She has two sons and has worked as an administrator for the Nhabe Museum in Maun since 1996.
Joyce is an extremely good-natured person with tireless enthusiasm, and has been fully committed to the Waste Management Project since it began in August 2014. She also accompanies the “Kids to the Bush” tours and handles the recycling training provided by the environmental clubs when Theda Gräfin Knyphausenis unavailable.