youth at work

In 2011 Mary Coulson, founder of Restart Africa, was searching for a means of providing viable employment for the youth of the streets. She hit on the idea of recycling waste materials into fuel briquettes, an eco-friendly substitute for burning charcoal, which is currently the main form of fuel burnt in Kenya. The project was launched and initially manned by a team of seven former Restart boys and boys from the streets.

Using a basic (but brilliant, and designed by us) wooden press to form the briquettes, and through patient experimentation with a cooking pot and many weeks of trial and error, a combustible formula was perfected and patented. The briquettes are made using fibre from the tonnes of plant waste being produced by the rose farms in nearby Naivasha, cardboard and a few other secret ingredients.

Restart briquettes are exceptionally cheap to make, are completely smokeless and have been tested by engineering experts at the University of Nairobi, who confirm they produce as much heat as dry firewood.

At present we are making briquettes to supply fuel to the kitchens at the Restart Centre, but in the future we hope to be able to raise enough funds to buy a commercial sized machine press so we can manufacture the briquettes on a much larger scale, and supply them across the whole of Kenya. There is great demand for this type of fuel as it is so much cheaper and greener than the alternatives.  Profits from the venture will go towards the funding of Restart.

We are proud to say that we now provide regular employment for a small team of local men and the numbers will increase as the business grows.

For more information regarding our briquette projects please contact us at briquettes@restartafrica.org

 

 

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