Growing New Solutions With the Pollination Project

Levi Strauss & Co.
January 4, 2017

LS&Co. and The Pollination Project have teamed up to make year-end grants to high impact youth-led projects focused on creating local solutions to global environmental problems.  From tapping into options for safe drinking water in Mozambique to bringing environmental education to youth of color in Chicago, the grants support young leaders who are combating complex social and environmental challenges around the world.

This year’s youth environmental grantees are:

chuck Chuck Chuan Ng, age 27, Selangor, Malaysia – Chuck and a team of energetic eco-loving youths work to reclaim contaminated land, or brownfield sites, by planting a type of grass that cleans up the soil. The grant will support a new effort to teach local students to participate in the clean-up activities.

“’Think and see globally, but act and perform locally’ will always be my philosophy of a lifetime,” Chuck said.

dejah Dejah Powell, age 20, Chicago, Illinois – Dejah’s “Get Them to the Green” summer program provides a much-needed space for Chicago youth of color to explore environmental issues. The grant will allow them to launch a new school/community garden where students can learn about urban agriculture.

The garden “will benefit the schools substantially through increasing student interest in environmental education, providing healthy, locally grown food for the school cafeteria, and alleviating food insecurity by allowing the students to take food they have grown home,” Dejah said.

edelson Edelson Dulang, age 23, Philippines – Edelson’s project focuses on replanting depleted mangrove forests, which provide valuable fish habitat and protection from typhoons. The grant will expand that work to neighboring communities.

“My aim is to contribute in the conservation, protection and rehabilitation of our Mangrove Forest in my community in order to create a healthy and life sustaining coastal environment,” Edelson said.

immanuel Immanuel Landy-Ariel, age 22, Nairobi, Kenya – Immanuel established a plant nursery where disadvantaged youth can learn job skills. The grant will allow them to bring in expert trainers to teach the young people best nursery practices, and build a rainwater harvesting tank.

“Our ultimate goal is to see Kayole residential balconies greening the cityscape with beautiful shrubs and flowers from a local tree nursery that is owned, operated and maintained by youth who had previously been delinquents or otherwise going nowhere in life,” Immanuel said.

lucky Lucky Mwachi, age 22, Nairobi, Kenya – The Join the Pipe project installs drinking water taps in schools and communities to provide clean water to those who can’t afford bottled water. The grant will support a new water kiosk at a Nairobi school, and implement a business model where the school will make money selling clean water to the community at an affordable price.

“With this project we will provide access to tap clean water for thousands of people, while also preventing the use of disposable water bottles,” Lucky said.

tsechu Tsechu Dolma, age 24, Nepal – The Mountain Resiliency project helps communities build greenhouses and orchards as a way for the community to address malnourishment and learn about climate change. The grant will support a new greenhouse in the Dhorpattan Refugee Camp.

“We are directly engaging the community, especially the youth, to gain from this combination of indigenous methods and modern advances in technology,” Tsechu said.

ulfat Ulfat Kazemi, age 21, Jalalabad, AfghanistanSustainistan is a greenery project that is helping to create a greener and healthier environment at high schools in Afghanistan. The grant will allow the group to install waste disposal bins and plant trees at high schools.

“We really care about the evergreen idea and believe that friendly atmosphere, new challenges, changes and team-buildings are those strategies which can help our team to tackle not only one issue but different other problems within our society and schools,” Ulfat said.

zachary Zachary Lager, age 29, Mozambique – Zachary partners with communities to drill boreholes that give access to clean water while community members tend a tree nursery for a community reforestation project. The grant will allow them to expand the project to encourage families to use the water for vegetable gardens that will be a sustainable source of healthy food.

“The devastating impacts from a lack of access to water has profound public health impacts,” Zachary said. “Although this water project has not solved this problem, it has had a significant and immediate impact.”