By Nokuphila Mbuthu and Briget seloane
We witnessed the sun peeking over the horizon, with soft rays of light casting over Glenashely beach and offering us a beautiful start into Day 7 of the Wetskills South Africa (Durban) 2023 Challenge. From the balcony, we noticed a gazebo and banners at the beach, but we could not read what was written. WOW, there is going to be an event, we thought. We then had delicious breakfast downstairs, and upon return the music had now began playing. Our interests pertaining to the event grew more when we saw employees from Jack Salmon restaurant picking litter.
We went down to the beach to get more insight into the event and also got to take pictures with these agents of change, who are contributing to the sustainability of our environment. Curiosity definitely enlightened the cats! It is the Litter BOOM Project, alongside Jack Salmon fish and grill restaurant. We engaged with most of the stuff and interviewed Cameron, the founder of the Litter Boom Project. The spontaneous interviews took place while we also shared the common goal the Wetskills Challenge and the Litterboom project had – water conservation, where creativity meets sustainability.
The litter-Boom Project is a non-profit organization that is inspired by human innovation and how they have manged to fix so many existential problems through ingenuity and collaboration. According to litter boom project, finding ways to create products from the mountains of waste they collect is something they believe to be extremely beneficial to both the environment and the emerging entrepreneurs within the many communities they work within.
We got a sneak peek of their first product dropping on the shelves of MR PRICE HOME this week. Through their wastepreneur program, they are training entrepreneurs to harness the potential of plastic pollution from rivers and oceans. These individuals focus on creating products that not only reduce waste but also increase the value of various streams of plastic. By finding economically viable solutions for plastics from the environment, their wastepreneurs support dedicated teams on the ground that collect these materials.
The pitch training was scheduled to be delivered the previous day, but due to Load-shedding at the Department of Water and Sanitation Offices in Durban, we received the training today. The training was delivered by Johanna at 10 am at the dining area of the hostel. We were tasked to watch videos from previous Wetskills participants in preparation for today’s pitch. We learned that pitching is an attractive way to communicate as it is the start of a conversation and we must be able to explain the pain and the solution within 2 minutes, this is called an “elevated pitch”. For unforeseen circumstances, we were advised to have two people to prepare for their pitch for back up purposes. Furthermore, we were given articulation tips, strategies such as pauses for processing and effect.
Unwind, Recharge and Reset both minds and bodies! Who does not feel a million times better after a chatty lunch session with their work bestie? The importance of taking a break at work cannot be overstepped. While others feel that it is rare or unrealistic to take a break away from work, due to the mistaken belief that being in front of the computer longer means you will get more work done, others felt that stepping away from their computer, made them feel better and refreshed. Having that one hour to switch off and reconnect with their colleagues was much more beneficial for productivity, because proper lunch breaks improve work performance. Gateway Mall seemed to be a convenient place to grab lunch due to the variety of restaurants available there, the team then made its way back to Durban Back-Packers hostel, as they still needed to continue working on their cases.
After the training, we sat in our groups and worked on our inventions and did more research while creating our posters. We then elected two members from our groups who would do the pitching and the content of the pitch.
1,2,3 PITCH! Each team had a representative whom pitched to all of the participants and the supervisors. Subsequently, other teams asked questions after the pitch and the team pitching had to respond. This was a great session which offered a trial for what is to come and how we will respond to the challenging questions which might be asked by the expects on Thursday. We received good criticism and comments from other team members. After this session we went back to the drawing board to improve our inventions based on questions and comments we received.