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Trash Picker of Rio–A Self-Starter!

Run, don’t walk, to the nearest movie rental outlet and get Waste Land, the documentary. It’s the story of how renowned artist, Vik Muniz, created art from the trash heaps of Rio de Janiero’s landfill–the largest in the world. Besides being an extraordinary film, one of the most moving parts was the sub-plot involving Tiao, a young man who works on the trash piles. He decided that it was important to have an association representing the thousands who make their livelihood there, so he started an association for trash pickers.

He cries as he shares the story of how he began, “Everyone said no. Nobody believed in me. But I believed, I believed I could do something!” Today, not only is he representing 2300 people but he has created an on-site space for education, has appeared on Brazil’s talk shows, gone to London to Vik Muniz’s art exhibition, and he’s just getting started, “it’s only the beginning for me,” he says resolutely.

Send me a story of a self-starter you know!