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Clean Up Sparks Viral Results

France: Neighbourhood project goes nationwide.

Members of a youth charity in a north Paris suburb that is known for gang violence were amazed when their efforts to clean up their neighbourhood inspired a national clean-up campaign.

Hind Ayadi, founder of the arts charity Espoir et Création in Garges-lès-Gonesse, got 40 young people picking up litter and trash to raise awareness of environmental issues and encourage them to take pride in their neighbourhood.

“Teenagers don’t always feel preoccupied by environmental issues but this time they wanted to get involved,” she says.

The volunteers then used social media to challenge the city of Marseille to make a similar effort. To their surprise, Marseille accepted the challenge, and in turn challenged Montpellier.

The challenge spread virally from city to city, including Nice, Perpignan and 25 other towns.

Back in Garges-lès-Gonesse, 16-year-old volunteer Adil Nazir, says: “It’s rewarding to see we’ve reached so many people. Now, we’re fully committed to keeping our city clean.”

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