Dustman Wilbur Ramirez is urging people to donate to his charity to help refuse collectors in Indonesia.Wilbur, who works for Hammersmith and Fulham Council, has launched the charity to help his fellow refuse collectors after spending 10 days with them for a television programme.
The dad-of-four took part in the project for BBC series Toughest Place In The World, where he was filmed working on the round of Imam Syafii, a refuse collector and street sweeper in Jakarta. The show was screened earlier in the year.
But he was so shocked by the conditions of work in Indonesia that he decided to take it a stage further. He has now set up charity called the Ramirez Trust, which aims to improve life for the refuse collectors.
He said: “When I was on the plane coming home I couldn’t wait to see my wife and kids, but I also couldn’t stop thinking about Imam and his family, who I was leaving behind. I knew I had to do something.”
He hopes the charity will be able to buy protective clothing and equipment for workers, adding: “That is what I think they need. But it is really what they need that is important.”
He said the refuse collectors work seven days a week for very little money and have to sweep the front of houses and clean drains, all in bare feet and with no gloves.
He said: “I couldn’t believe how they live. I’ve seen countless rats during my daily work, but out there they are the size of rabbits.”