The 2018 Young Champion of the Earth for Africa, Shady Rabab, recently visited Kibera during his first trip to Sub-Saharan Africa. His organization, the Rabab Luxor Art Collective, raises awareness about plastic pollution and turns waste into colorful musical instruments.
For Rabab, the visit to Kenya was both an opportunity to teach people about music and the environment, and a chance to meet with local change makers who directly deal with the effects of plastic pollution.
Since winning his prize, Rabab has been working on a plan to take his initiative further. He has put in place a recruitment drive to hire a project manager and conducted meetings with potential partners.
"We need to solve the plastic problem, and through the power of art we can raise awareness. By using music, the kids will care about the environment," said Rabab.
"My dream is to go all around Africa and teach kids how to make their own musical instruments out of garbage. We will have small workshops, then they will teach one another and the idea will spread."
Rabab and team at the Garbage Conservatoire Band plan to connect with young people in more countries, spreading awareness further. In March, he will attend the United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi and is looking forward to other major events during the year.
"I'm looking forward to sharing my story as an active change-maker with others who are making waves on the waste, sea-life and sustainable consumption fronts," said Rabab.
"Waste management has emerged as a serious challenge in the modern global economy, and it's become clear that plastics are one of the most difficult problems," said Rabab. "I'm looking forward to tackling this challenge through music, and taking our tunes further in 2019," he said.
We encourage everyone who wants to make a difference for our planet to see if they have what it takes to be a Young Champion of the Earth. Stay tuned to this website - the application portal is now open! The Young Champions of the Earth Prize is powered by Covestro.