meet esther the upcycler - the spark youth empowerment platforms in nigeria

Meet Esther – The Up-cyclers

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Esther I Ochuwa, also known as Esty, up-cycles trash, example, used tires, second hand clothes etc, into beautiful furniture pieces that are durable, functional and affordable.

Speaking about how she started, she says, “I started recycling after experiencing flood which was caused by clogged canal around our vicinity. Most of the material recovered while cleaning the canal system were PET bottles and used tires. After the flood experience, I set up a collection point where residents in the neighbourhood can drop their recyclables and discovered I enjoy recycling activities aside from my teaching job. In 2017, I decided to quit the teaching job and started recycling as a full-time business. The journey hasn’t been an easy road but I am committed to the achievement of set goals and shall continually strive to stay afloat by trying new things in the business.”

She draws inspiration from nature. “Anytime I encounter a problem, I ask myself how nature will solve this. I believe that nature has solutions to any problem/challenges. My weekends are always spent walking in a park or simply stroll at beach to observe, mediate and draw inspiration from the activities around me.”

Being a finalist at a competition she entered for served as a confidence booster for her. “Recently, I applied to participate in a competition hosted by Unity Bank and was among the finalist. Although I didn’t win the grand prize, the privilege of being selected from a pool of over 2000 applicants made me believe in myself and the work that I am currently doing to effect positive impact within my community.”

Now, “I am constantly seeking for opportunities that can lead to collaborative achievements. Presently I am seeking for external funding to effectively carry on development of minimum viable products (MVP) for different market segments and to also acquire manufacturing equipments that will enable me increase production capacity and meet large scale demand.”

Esther also gave her opinion on youth empowerment. “I think it’s imperative that youths are empowered with relevant knowledge, skill-set and enabling environment that will enable them thrive in this era of globalization which has resulted in “accelerated change”, “overwhelming complexity” and “tremendous competition.”

“Nigerian youths in general are innovative and have a resilient spirit in spite of an unsupportive system that always undermines efforts being made the youths. Their resilience is evident in the entertainment sector, tech space and academics.”

“Personally, I think Nigerian youths are already equipped with the relevant knowledge and skills, what they require to be more empowered to effect global scale impact are basically; constant power supply, policies that enable youth participation in governance, capacity building programmes and more funding for Start-ups.”

Reach her on

Instagram handle: @estherecocare

LinkedIn: Esther I Ochuwa

Email: esther@ecocare.org.ng/

Phone Number: 08069235339

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The Spark is a youth empowerment platform in Nigeria that projects the average Nigerian youth doing something, anything positive. Our mission is to reach out to as many youths, “EMPOWER and ENGAGE!!!