ZapSap Project: We are uniting the world with great traditional craftsmanship to help realizea sustainable world.

“Here a project that makes an impact in Africa, from Japan! Yes, from Japan.

Imagine that there are tires piled in front of your house 🏡, or even worse, that are burning 🔥 in front of your neighborhood starting a fire in the sabana…

Well, you can better read a bit more through this article below, to understand why Zapsap is an international best practice rewarded with a special recognition over the 5th Global Entreps Awards.

The Global Entreps Awards, by the International Board of Global Actors and Business for Sustainability, were born back in 2014, to consistently outstanding best practices on the UN 🇺🇳 17 SDGs; hand in hand with the United Nations Organization since 2020.

Cheers to Zapsap! Well done ✨”

Joaquin V. Boston
Chairman of Entreps

Copyright  Nakayoshi Gakuen, NGO

I am Yuri Hirayama from Japan. I work as the Director and Global Section Chief for the  Nakayoshi Gakuen School in Japan led by our CEO Yuichi Nakamura. I am passionate  about education and sustainability. I teach math, science, and languages to children and  adults from home while studying for my MBA at EGADE Business School.

The Nakayoshi Gakuen School generates activities around Sustainable Development Goals  (SDGs). Recently, the focus has been on assisting Africans to learn about disaster  prevention, food, sports, fashion, and science in connection with sustainable Goal 12,  Responsible Consumption and Production. We do this by making durable sandals from used  tires, climbing ropes, and clothes. These are for Africans who have to walk long distances on  a daily basis to get water. 

Let me explain how our story started. In 2021, a volcano erupted in Goma, DR Congo.  Thousands of people fled their homes on foot. Unfortunately, many of them did not know how  to deal with the natural disaster. They needed food, water, houses, shoes, and medical care.  Since the devastation created an immediate need for action, we decided to build a Disaster  Prevention School in Goma to offer knowledge to local people and protect their lives. 

While our activities there helped a lot, water scarcity is still a big issue. Many women and  children are required to walk long distances to get water while wearing cheap and dirty  sandals or walking barefoot. Consequently, illnesses and infections from open cuts and  wounds are frequent. To prevent this, we came up with the idea of making sandals ourselves  from recycled materials such as tires, mountain climbing ropes, and clothes. 

In Japan, there are approximately 1.5 million tires manufactured each year. Those tires once  no longer safe to use are put into our waste management system, which will create more  environmental harm. Our ZapSap project is to recycle the tires by making eco-friendly  products. I found one motorcycle store which could give me used motorcycle tires for free. By  using an electric cutter, scissors, tires, climbing ropes, and second-hand clothes, we are  making sandals both for children and adults. The used tires become soles, and ropes or  clothes are used as straps. Some recycled sandal designers gave me hints to improve the  quality. To gain continuous improvement, we held running marathon events in Tokyo and  asked Japanese eco-conscious people to wear our original tough sandals. The questionnaire  that we conducted showed that out of 100 people, most of them agreed that our original  sandals were durable, creative, and comfortable.

The next step is to teach Africans how to make their own sandals by using their local tires,  clothes, and reusable items so that they can become self-reliant. If the local people master how to make sandals using the materials that they can get within their communities, they can  reuse them and sustainably produce footwear and elevate their quality of life. 

Tire and apparel industries generate large amounts of waste, which must be repurposed. In  advanced countries such as in Japan and the United States, people keep throwing away tires  and clothes although they are still usable. There are still some aged people who experienced  poverty during the war and keep using the same materials for many years with a sense of “mottainai”, which describes how sad, unfortunate, and regrettable it is to throw some usable  things away. I consider this sense of “mottainai” to be one of the Japanese virtues that  should be valued and inherited. 

We have shared this initiative with others, and people in Japanese communities started to  give us a lot of valuable ballet costumes, dresses, and kimonos in addition to tires. 

We wish to bring joy and smiles to a world with suffering and difficulties. We will continue to  provide education for the people in developing countries to build self-reliance by repurposing  recycled materials, creating jobs, and attaining a sustainable world. 

Copyright  Nakayoshi Gakuen, NGO

ZapSap is at an early stage. Our plan is to save the environment and help the African people  by repurposing tires and clothing and creating sandals. This initiative has a wider impact. We  are creating experiences for Japanese students to teach classes and contribute themselves  in Uganda and DR Congo by helping them increase sensitivity, global awareness, and self worth. We are uniting the world with great traditional craftsmanship to help realize a  sustainable world.

copyright  Nakayoshi Gakuen, NGO

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *