José – How One Student Started a Cleanup Movement

Before joining the FIRST Global Guinea-Bissau team, José would normally go to the Port of Bandim, the biggest fishing port in the country, to buy fish with his family. However, after joining the team and learning about the year’s Ocean Opportunities theme, he was inspired to organize a cleanup event to do something about all of the pollution he saw there.

Sponsored by 10 local institutions, they brought together over 80 volunteers for a full day of cleanup. Not only did they remove lots of trash from the port, they also took action to help curtail this issue at its source by holding outreach. They raised awareness of the dangers of pollution and the importance of keeping the port clean. The team was even interviewed by two national radio stations about their efforts.

Realizing that no issue can be solved overnight, the event’s organizers and sponsors have expressed dedication to continuing the battle against pollution in their country.

“It was an amazing job done by the students. Robots really can help us clean the ocean!” said one of the team’s mentors. “However, there is still a lot to be done. We need more materials and equipment, and people have to learn to recycle and put the garbage in the right place and not in the sea.”