As a reminder, Waste Free Oceans started last month its Caribbean Roadshow, consisting in cleanups and educational projects in the Caribbean islands. The Roadshow’s first stop is the Dominican Republic, where Waste Free Oceans’ team organizes multiple actions: a cleanup with teenagers from the school Hogar del Niño, other cleanups with volunteers as well as the use of the waste catching trawl.
On Saturday June 25, high school students of the inclusive education center Hogar del Niño and Waste Free Oceans’ volunteers cleaned the banks of the river Río Dulce in La Romana.
During the whole morning, and thanks to the support of our partner Papier-Mettler who provided us the waste bags, we removed more than 70 bags filled with a majority of plastic waste. The collected waste has been taken by the municipality to be further sorted and recycled locally.
The waste found on the banks of the river comes from the houses of the hill above it. In fact, people throw their waste on the ground which, when it rains, ends up on the banks of the river. As this practice never stops, the amount of waste accumulates over the years and in some places, it is impossible to even see the ground. Through this cleanup, we aimed to show the visible consequences of littering and the massive amount of work needed in order to cleanse the affected areas.
The educational projects we carry out are intended to help the younger generation to understand the issue of plastic waste and the importance of protecting their environment. We also aim, through all the communication surrounding the project, to get the local communities to take similar actions and hopefully change their behavior as well.
Hogar del Niño
This action has been carried out by Waste Free Oceans and the high school students of the integral educational center Hogar del Niño. While in the Dominican Republic, Waste Free Oceans’ team has had the chance to visit the school and see the incredible work that its employees have been doing over the past 40 years.
Created in in the 80s’, Hogar del Niño provides free education, food, medical and dental care to more than 1700 children, including children with disabilities, aged 0 to 18 years old in the Dominican Republic. It also has, among others, a fully-equipped lab with a a 3D printer using recycled plastic, a small farm and a library.
The students come from extremely vulnerable places and, for most of them, would not be able to attend school if they were not taken care of by Hogar del Niño. Even more, the center gives the opportunity to 20% of them to receive a scholarship to study at university.
Patricia Villegas and Orlando Salvador Jorge Villegas
During the cleanup, we had the great pleasure to receive the visit of Patricia Villegas y Orlando Salvador Jorge Villegas, spouse and son of the late Orlando Jorge Mera, Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources of the Dominican Republic, who gave us hope for a future without plastic littering in the Dominican Republic.
On Thursday 23rd of June, Waste Free Oceans has been invited to the headquarters of the newspaper Listín Diario in Santo Domingo for an interview. With our partner Jorge Rizek, we have had the opportunity to speak about our educational projects, but also about our project to build a recycling plant in the Dominican Republic.
Sponsored by TUI fly
Finally, we are extremely grateful to have received the support of the airline TUI fly, which kindly sponsored the flight tickets to allow WFO’s team to come to the Dominican Republic in order to develop our cleanup projects there.
Important to know, TUI fly follows a strict sustainability strategy. They are, for instance, part of the Advisory Group of the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative, through which they managed to eliminate more than 250 million pieces of single-use plastics from their operations.
This educational project will be followed by other cleanups with volunteers and by the use of the waste catching trawl, this time with the support of our partner ECO. Stay tuned!
Follow the journey:
START DATE & LOCATION: Dominican Republic, La Romana, June 25 2022
ABOUT HOGAR DEL NIÑO
Hogar del Niño is day care and educational center in La Romana providing medical care, food and education to children and teenagers in the Dominican Republic through development and sustainable projects.
Find more information on: https://www.pbo.org.do/program/hogar-del-nino/what-is-hogar
ABOUT WASTE FREE OCEANS
Waste Free Oceans (WF0) is a non-profit organization that mobilizes the fisheries sector, the pIastics industry, brand owners, and the wider public in order to reduce the impact of marine litter in the oceans. WFO's operations focus on marine litter cleanups and “CIosing the Loop” projects, enabling new and innovative products to be designed and produced from the collected ocean waste.
Find more information on: https://www.wastefreeoceans.org/
Contact: CIara Hoyas, Communications Executive at WF0, cIara.firstname.lastname@example.org
WFO media contact:
+32 (0)2 739 63 70
Avenue de Cortenbergh 71
1000 Bruxelles, Belgium