Vestability is a non-profit organisation founded by students in the Enactus Society which teaches fishers in developing countries how to make buoyancy vests out of local waste materials.
34 million fishers worldwide are using traditional boats using sails and oars, unfortunately in rough waters these boats are prone to capsizing and during the long swim back to shore many fishers drown.
Ella, a third year Biology student has described the project as ‘a simple design idea that has the potential to be propagated worldwide. It provides a simple, sustainable and affordable solution to reduce the incidence of drowning using locally-produced, up-cycled buoyancy vests.’
Ella has been involved in the development of the social enterprise and has developed links with charities, progressed through prototyping issues and ensured its sustainability. This has developed her team work skills and taught her how to be adaptable to changing requirements.
The project upcycles waste materials to make the buoyancies to contribute to both environmental sustainability and affordable to those living in developing countries. The project was trialled in Madagascar last summer and has so far proven to be very effective.
‘The pilot project, over summer, showed us that the model can be effective and the next steps will be to develop relationships with partner organisations who can implement the project in the most vulnerable areas.’ – Ella
The experience has motivated Ella towards a career in sustainability and environmental policy.
If you are a similar organisation who could benefit from working together or a student looking to get involved please get in touch!