Concluding the ISWA Scholarship Programme

Jan 27, 2022 | Uncategorized

It is with disappointment that we announce that the ISWA Scholarship Programme will draw to an end from the beginning of 2022.

The ISWA Scholarship Programme was founded in 2015 when ISWA met Timothy Bouldry at the ISWA World Congress in Antwerp. We were inspired by Timothy, and his passionate efforts to save children from the hardship of working on dumpsites in Latin America, specifically in Nicaragua.

Closing dumpsites, and highlighting the dangerous human consequences to improper waste management is something which sits at the heart of ISWA’s mission and we wanted to support Timothy’s charitable work and established the ISWA Scholarship Programme – trading trash for education.

The aims of the programme were to remove people informally working at dumpsites, to provide the education, materials and conditions for the scholarship students so they can become successful, but also to follow them until they become self-sustainable. Over the last 5-6 years the programme has had a profoundly positive impact on the communities in Nicaragua, and beyond, where Timothy and the programme have put kids in the classroom.

However, during the last 2 years, it has become clear that the programme is not financially sustainable for ISWA. ISWA is an association with almost no experience in charity work and unfortunately we were unable to find secure, long-term financing for the programme to continue in a proper and sustainable manner.  Instead, we must direct our very limited energies and resources on our core mission and offering value and service to our members. If you still want to support charitable waste-related work, we strongly encourage you to consider donating to WasteAid, who work with communities and policy makers in lower and middle income countries to implement waste management and recycling programmes.

ISWA wants to express its eternal gratitude to Timothy for the years he spent on the programme, the incredible work he did raising awareness of the dangers of open waste dumping, and for the countless lives he has changed in his coordination of the programme. We also want to thank each and every one of you who donated to, and supported, the programme and made such a difference to so many lives.

“The ISWA Scholarship Programme touched the lives of families working informally at dumpsites in Nicaragua, Honduras, Ethiopia, India and Uganda. We reached the lives of 200 individuals to some capacity, whether through schooling and training scholarships, food plans, health benefits, and activities held at The ISWA Centre. Highlights of the programme were celebrated every time a student graduated or met a meaningful milestone. Also, when ISWA invited one of our young adults who came from the La Chureca dumpsite in Nicaragua, but was attending medical school to participate at World Congress in Bilbao, Spain where she gave an inspiring speech. For many of the children, they were told that schooling is for the upper class and their place was to be working at the sides of their parents in dumpsites. The programme broke that stigmata and mentality; not only in the child, but also the parents who now value the role of education in their lives. ISWA has indefinitely left a positive impression on the youths that participated in it.” Timothy Bouldry, Programme Director

ISWA will continue to work on it’s programme in India in partnership with SIDCON, One Billion Literates Foundation and the Samridhdhi Trust where we have a long-term agreement with the donor.

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