Meet Nigerian Eco-feminist Jennifer Uchendu, founder of SustyVibes, a startup that focuses on environmental protection and women development. Jennifer shares with us the inspiring story behind how SustyVibes was born.
“I founded SustyVibes when I got frustrated with searching for sustainability focused jobs that could hire me without a “sustainability qualification” in Nigeria – I have an educational background in Biochemistry but really wanted to do sustainability work, for a concept as unpopular in these parts, there were not a lot of companies doing core sustainability work to even start with. I had to combine my day job with voluntary and freelance work in sustainability and one day, I even proposed a sustainability department to my CEO. After then, I just decided to start up my own thing.
I thought, if I could create a blog where I would collate all my sustainability activities, I would be noticed by the right organisations and my job search would be over. Little did I know that there was a whole lot more I could do with SustyVibes. I am very particular about fighting climate change by getting young people thinking and designing solutions for sustainability. I also understand that if women are not educated and empowered, the environment will continue to suffer. This is why our major focus in SustyVibes is on environmental protection and women development.
You may want to ask, what exactly does she do at SustyVibes, simply put – I make sustainability easy to understand and practice, from our website, we push out articles on the subject matter and point people to events and trends happening across Nigeria. We have also gone a step further to launch several offline projects like; Susty schools where we train school children on sustainable living through the United Nation’s Sustainable development Goals, CampusCleanUp – where we engage university students on waste management, recycling and climate action. We also engage in ecotourism, tree planting, movie screening and our most popular event which is the Susty Party brings young people together in a party – fun setting to discuss sustainability. SustyVibes is all about channelling our youthful energy to sustainable development.
I launched SustyVibes in April last 2016 and I have no regrets so far, though the road to getting Nigerians on board with Sustainability is still very long and getting support from organisations is not the easiest of processes – I can proudly say that we have made some good impacts and with over forty active volunteers who are engaged in one or two of our projects – we are on track to achieving our set goals.”