TT4Environment in Nairobi
HAPPY INTERNATIONAL MOTHER EARTH DAY!
Join the celebration of Mother Earth and promote harmony with nature and the earth! It’s an important day for all of us, whether environmentalist or table tennis lover; there is only one world and we have to take care all together! Read the inspiring story about a group around Phelix Otieno in Nairobi, KENYA, who are cleaning up the environment and raising the awareness of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The original plan of teacher and table tennis coach Phelix was to join our call and motto of the World Table Tennis Day 2020 “Table Tennis 4 Environment: Let’s make a change and grow together to be more popular, universal and inclusive”. Their April 6 event goal was firstly to introduce the concept TT4ALL into primary schools and secondly to teach about the environment focussing on waste management in Kenya.
After the transformation into the World Table Tennis “at Home” Day to protect the health of our athletes and fans, Phelix and friends postponed the planned table tennis activities, but conducted the environment related activities in order to contribute to environmental health and to leave an environmental legacy for OUR planet in their community ‘Kibera Slums’ in times of outbreaking Covid-19.
The collaborative and noble work took 5 hours and 40 helpers including coaches and players from Kibera as well as youths from CARO Foundation (Creating A Reliable Oasis) in the age between 18 and 33 years, who share our passion for table tennis.
“Everyone was very positive and supportive when I presented my idea – to my surprise they had it already in mind, too. The mobilisation of youth groups and other volunteers and getting money for protective gear was a problem at first, but we managed at the end.”
Phelix Otieno, PE teacher and table tennis coach at Makini School, Kibera (Nairobi), KENYA
Their main tasks were:
- Cleaning terraces and spraying shops and playgrounds
- Collecting garbage to the main collection centres
- Supplying nylon bags for home garbage collection
- Setting up water points with hand soap as sanitisers are a bit expensive
Learning experience for kids and youth
Above this, they taught 7-13-years-old kids from the community how to wash their hands properly and keep physically distanced to fight germs and to contain the spread of the virus through a combined theoretical and practical session of 25 minutes.
In the end, kids could again play freely in a clean environment and are aware of the threat of Covid-19, people are avoiding handshakes and gatherings, sanitise more often, some even were able to buy face masks, and enjoy the clean environment after realising it doesn’t take much to interact respectfully with it by managing one’s own garbage at home.
Legacy and community building
To keep it that way, the volunteers agreed to clean up and sensitising about the virus every Thursday as well as collecting the garbage from homes to the dumpsite every Saturday morning. In light of the Covid-19 crisis, Phelix mentioned, that people lost their jobs and are not able to buy food anymore. Hence, those who can contribute are buying food for the most vulnerable people, which was and will be distributed to elderly and children homes every Saturday, too.
Now, think about what YOU can do to improve the relationship between human, animal and environmental health and do it! Remember: We are all together on this way to protect our Mother Earth.
Table Tennis for all. For life.
For any queries related to Covid-19 and how it affects ITTF Foundation activities, please contact: