I’m working on finding social entrepreneurial solutions to cover Low-Resource Settings basic needs based on circular economy and product service system models, more specifically the basic needs of low-income mothers and their newborns in the Colombian Andean region. Among the sustainable solutions nowadays, circularity is of great impact and have presenting great acceptance to reduce footprint of High-Resource Settings, but Low-Resource Settings initiatives are few or are not spread whit the same intensity as the first ones, this is the reason why I’m so interested in this topic because is a practical example of Circular Economy applied in Colombian Andean Region, that is a real Low-Resource Setting field.
For now I’ve reached one community in rural area of Pereira, but I want to explore another rural area I know in Santa Rosa. What I dream is to getting closer to this community and help them to reach their basic needs on a different economic perspective. I believe that the current actions driven by government, are good intention but increase our wicked sustainable problem of incremental use of finite resource. I think extreme poverty communities have to be studied from a System Thinking approach and applied directly circular and sharing economic principles away of companies profit but centered on their basic needs as much sustainable and affordable can make it.
So for that reason I created kangoomama.org an initiative to help new moms to get basic needs covered away of poverty traps. Our team have been working on the following ideas:
1. Facilitate access to rational amount of high quality baby clothes, toys (maybe made with “Precious plastics”, trolleys (“Precious plastics”, why not) and baby stuff for a very low monthly fee, even a fee that can be subsidized by campaigns in Europe, So in that order I expect that a monthly fee can be about 10 dollar a month and 30 dollars be covered by charity (25%-75%) For a year, so this way moms can only need to pay 120 dollars a year to cover the complete basic stuff of their babies. A program only for moms over 24 years old to give a clear message to study first, because there is big problem in Colombia that young woman in low income communities are pressured by their social circle to get pregnant to access to government subsidies.
2. The previous research showed us that these communities have several need uncovered, for example more than 90% of the people doesn’t have a washing machine, 80% doesn’t have internet access and they don’t have a frequent waste collection. So we think we can implement “Precious Plastic” machinery in these communities for double purpose, as a plastic management, but at the same time to build essential stuff they need, and in posterior stages for entrepreneurial project, but having a clear focus that the project is going to be away as much as possible of current economical perspective so only entrepreneurial if we detect people that is passionate about it, not imposed.
3. Related to washing machines we think we can work in collaboration with a washing machine brand and with solar energy brand and construct in the communities eco-bricks to build communitarian laundry-rooms or laundry-homes with an effective sharing system, we dream with laundry-homes as a space with free wi-fi (Colombian government is installing free point access, so something can be done), with washing machines powered by solar energy, with communitarian desktops when the people can learn while they wait for their clothes to be washed, also with books, that can be donated. At the same time this space can be a space ruled by a PSS (Product-Service System), that can be 40% covered by community and 60% sponsored by companies and people, We think that people can pay as low as 5 dollars/ per month (Each laundry-home we expect can cover 40-60 families). This is extremely important because one