CREATE LIVELIHOODS | REDUCE POVERTY | REDUCE PLASTIC WASTE
FUNDRAISING: Dana Asia CEO Duncan Power announces plans to cycle for recycling
In April 2022, Duncan Power, CEO of Dana Asia, will take on a 3,016km solo bicycle ride from Adelaide to Darwin along the desolate Stuart Highway to raise funds for a new social business project in the Philippines that will bring new livelihood opportunities to impoverished communities while also reducing plastic waste.
Globally, COVID-19 has plunged an estimated 100 million people into extreme poverty. In the Philippines, many have lost their livelihoods in the pandemic and find themselves in increasing debt, making it impossible for the most vulnerable to lift themselves out of poverty. At the same time, the Philippines faces a climate crisis. The Philippines contributes an estimated 0.75 million metric tonnes of mismanaged plastic into the ocean every year: the third largest contributor in the world. Climate change is causing increasingly extreme weather with severe typhoons threatening the homes and livelihoods of many communities.
Funds raised toward this new project will see the setup of a recycling hub in a social housing development to collect plastic waste from local households and businesses, which will be recycled into eco-bricks on-site. It will also use microfinance and skills training to facilitate the establishment of new businesses as livelihood opportunities for urban poor families. The project has two key objectives:
- ECOLOGICAL SUSTAINABILITY: Through the establishment of a recycling hub to reduce plastic waste and improve the natural environment in urban poor communities.
- SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: By creating jobs in impoverished communities and strengthening local microentrepreneurs through capacity building and microloans to support the setup and scaling of sustainable small businesses.
Working in partnership with the Rotary Club of Gawler Light in Australia, the Rotary Club of Manila, Grameen Pilipinas Microfinance Inc and technical partners in-country, the project will improve livelihoods, food security and local ecology through the elimination of plastic as an environmental hazard while also stimulating business activity.
Every 15km cycled will fund 1 microfinance loan for an aspiring microentrepreneur to start her own business. For each 1km cycled, 1.5kgs of single-use plastic will be recycled, preventing it from contaminating natural water sources.
The team at Dana Asia looks forward to sharing Duncan’s travels and stories from the roadside as he undertakes this amazing and arduous journey, pedalling more than 3,000 kilometres from the bottom of Australia to the top!