Teacher turns trash into cash to help build a school in Africa
- Credit: Kilda Giraudon
A language teacher from Ottery St Mary has been litter-picking throughout March and turning trash into cash to help raise much-needed funds for a school in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Kilda Giraudon, who has taught French and Spanish since moving to Devon from Brittany 17 years ago, set himself the challenge of collecting 700 discarded cans (approximately 10kg) during March from the roadsides and ditches while out on his daily walks during lockdown.
As well as helping to clean up the streets of Ottery and the outlying areas, the 39-year-old Colyton Grammar School teacher has been seeking sponsorship for his litter-picking efforts to support the care and education of street children in Congo, Central Africa. The Congo Children Trust charity (also known as Kimbilio) was set up by Kilda’s friend Ian Harvey. Money raised from Kilda’s walks will go towards Ian’s latest challenge to finish building a school to educate the street children in Lubumbashi, the second largest city Congo.
Kilda said: “During lockdown, I went for a lot of walks locally in the countryside around Ottery St Mary and I have been disgusted by the sheer amount of rubbish I have seen thrown on the roadsides and ditches. So, I decided to start collecting cans to do my bit for the environment. Why cans? Because they take so long to decompose. However, I have also been collecting other rubbish like hard plastic (bottles and containers). I have also started collecting all sorts of rubbish ranging from your take- away cups to crisp packets.”
After each of his walks Kilda creates a mosaic from the cans he collects to send a message out to the offenders. “My message to them is that it is so unnecessary, please do the right thing and recycle. All it takes is five seconds to put it in the bin instead of a can taking around 200 years to decompose.”
Kilda went on to say: “Hopefully these visuals will get some people to think and act more responsibly in the future as it is in our best interest to look after the planet we live on. This starts with everyone doing their bit and all the effort we can make will help mother nature in the long run.”
Kilda’s latest count of rubbish (as of Wednesday, March 17), is 923 cans with £260 donated on his JustGiving page.
You can help sponsor Kilda by going to: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kilda-giraudon