Lilongwe Cooperation Circle

In Malawi, a Southeastern African country populated mainly by young people aged between 18 and 35, youth are being challenged by social inequalities, a high rate of unschooling and unemployment, infant deaths, and plastic pollution.

In its Capital, Lilongwe, lies a URI Cooperation Circle that addresses these challenges, for the youth and by the youth. Lilongwe Cooperation Circle has been endeavoring projects that bring together the energy and determination of local young people to brace these global issues, adopting the different talents and skills added by their members, across projects.

From teaching to doing, Lilongwe CC runs projects around business, sustainability, children and women empowerment through programs that offer training on sowing clothes and bags, as well as reusable pads for girls during their periods, a source of income and a way to advocate against the use of thin plastics.

Their most innovative accomplishment includes the building process of the first and only maternity wing in their local community, Chinsapo, out of plastic bottles that once polluted their local area.

“In our community, we had no wing hospital, so we came up with an idea: ‘What if we use bottles to come up with something out of the disposables that are just scattered everywhere in our community?’, tells us Sipho Gondwe, Vice-Chair of Lilongwe CC.

It is with great pleasure that we leave you with Elizabeth Emiliano and Sipho Gondwe to walk you through a successful journey in which they turned plastic into a fantastic way of bracing their community’s most pressing needs while empowering women and youth.