After witnessing the challenges that the children in his home country of Uganda were experiencing, visionary eco artist Ruganzu Bruno Tusingwire came up with the idea to use recycled materials to create movable amusement parks for the children living in the slums of Kampala. As a result, Tusingwire was awarded the first City 2.0 Award of 2012 at the TEDxSummit. If any children deserve a place to let loose, it is the children of Uganda. High profile kidnapping, poverty, lack of access to education and a relatively new disease called “nodding disorder” have all plagued the children of the area in recent years. The mobile amusement park takes advantage of plastic waste in the community to create a place where children “can learn life skills, entrepreneur skills… so they can be off the street” according to Tusingwire.
Tusingwire initially experimented with eco-art while at Kyambogo University, where he first learned about the possibility of using trash to fashion works of art. “We can use what is around us to create treasure, employment opportunities, and make the environment better. There is a wonderful world of possibilities before us,” says Tusingwire. To further this concept, he became the lead organizer of TEDxKampala, which joins local artists in the quest for working with recycled materials in art. The artists adds, “I shifted from doing artwork to just hang on walls, having little influence on society, to doing art that solves community needs. It’s helped me realize my value to society.”