The Orange Farm Human Rights Advice center is located inside a recycling depot which is used to financially sustain the center. There are bales of glass, plastic bottles, paper, and all sorts of recycling material in sight with workers busy sorting the material into the relevant piles.
Green and clear plastic bottles collected by people in the community
Bricks Mokolo started the initiative in 1997 with a group of unemployed people in the community. The project was established as a way of responding to an unemployment crisis at the time and was also influenced by the desire to live in a clean and environmentally friendly community. Over the years it has employed many workers and has proven financially viable 19 years after its inception.
Bricks says “It has created jobs for young people in the community. Recycling has now become a daily activity in Orange Farm, with people collecting waste from their neighbours and receiving money for the waste that they bring to the center.”
For other communities thinking of starting a project of this nature, Bricks says it is an easy project to start because “remember the waste that we collect comes from our own homes, things like tin fish and baked beans are daily necessities, the waste is not far, we also contribute in making more waste”. It’s a matter of teaching people how to take care of their waste and how to make money out of it. There are always big companies who are ready to buy recycled material for example; Consol is always keen to buy glass. Other companies want to buy cans, box and different sorts of plastic.
Bricks Mokolo, Director of the Human Rights Advice Center
The challenge, if one wants to expand, is transport. You have to transport your waste to far off locations but for a small start-up project, the profits made are enough to pay for transport costs. Bricks says “Monthly profits are good. Stipends are paid and the administration is paid, phone, petrol, municipality services is all paid using the income we generate from recycling”.
When communities are faced with social and financial challenges like unemployment, this is a fantastic initiative to get involved in. It is a way of taking a stand and playing a part in contributing to their clean living and a way of generating an extra income that can go a long way
There are 12 people working at recycling and three at the advice center. The revenue generated from the recycling depot helps to financially sustain the Human rights advice centre. This environmentally friendly initiative helps to financially support young people working there, anyone in the community who brings in waste can make an extra buck for themselves. All these efforts have kept the advice center operational which in turn gives much needed legal advice to the community
CJN has partnered with Thetha FM and Orange farm Human Rights centre to produce and broadcast powerful stories about the miscarriage of justice in local communities. We will introduce you to all our partners and their inspiring social projects that they are involved in.
The partner radio station, Thetha FM, will broadcast stories from the community that will help educate people about the law and their rights. The team will broadcast stories on social grants issues, unfair dismissals, evictions and many more legal issues that will empower their listeners to know their rights