Norman Kaindu is the Managing Director at Ras Youth Garbage Collection, a community organisation that advocates environmental health.
Ras Youth Self-Help Group deals with garbage collection and waste segregation to ensure a clean environment. Their motto is ‘zero waste better life’.
Kaindu, 27, who is also a certified and practising nurse shares his career path.
“I was born at Kenyatta National Hospital. I am the last born in a family of four children. I grew up in Huruma in Nairobi. However, we later moved around the city. My parents instilled a sense of good character in me and this has greatly impacted the person that I am today.
I attended Little Friends Junior Academy in Naivasha before I proceeded to Maranda High School for my secondary school education. Upon successful completion, I joined Pwani University where I studied Nursing and Public Health.
Ras Youth Garbage Collection was born of passion. My brother, Joseph Kimanthi, and I started it off while we were still in high school in 2010 as a joint project.
We wanted to ensure a clean environment. We later turned the project into a business. We have grown to provide jobs to youths. At the moment, we have employed ten individuals directly who deal with garbage collection in estates and tens of others indirectly. Joseph is currently the CEO while I serve as managing director.
That I have offered employment to other youths gives me so much joy.
The jobs keep the youth away from crime. Our role in managing waste has also helped in improving health.
The key driver of our growth as Ras Youth Garbage Collection has been the passion to ensure a waste-free environment through community involvement, education, sensitisation and empowerment.
Lessons learnt along the way are that hard work pays. We celebrate the fact that we strive to ensure a clean environment for everybody.
One of the biggest challenges is the lack of reliable transport for the garbage to the disposal site. Most of the time, we hire garbage trucks to ferry the waste. Sometimes the trucks often break down.
We attribute our success to a number of landlords and site managers who have believed in us and given us garbage collection tenders.
I am proud that we have been able to keep the youth away from crime besides ensuring a clean environment. My advice to the youth in Kenya and Africa is that they should be focused on creating employment opportunities for themselves as this will reduce the level of unemployment in the continent.”
In future, I plan to ensure that our self-help group grows to become one of the biggest and the most effective in the country in waste management.”
Looking back, I would actually not change a single thing in my life as every experience has been a lesson and a stepping stone to this point.”