Student's mission towards big goal

Community minded: Northam Primary School student Makalya Smith has started a collection point for recycled bottle lids to be used to make prosthetic limbs for kids. Photo: Eliza Wynn.
Community minded: Northam Primary School student Makalya Smith has started a collection point for recycled bottle lids to be used to make prosthetic limbs for kids. Photo: Eliza Wynn.

Northam Primary School student Makalya Smith is on a mission - to collect 10,000 bottle caps over the next 10 weeks to help build prosthetic hands for children in need.

The 11-year-old is calling on local businesses to back her endeavour, to support community based not-for-profit Envision, who collect plastic recyclable waste and turn it into filament for 3D printers, then making hands for kids.

Makalya's mum Janelle said the local collection point started as an impromptu comment.

"I mentioned it to her and she took it under her wing and ran with it," Mrs Smith said.

"It's turning into a bigger project than we first thought.

"I've got to be careful what I say around her."

The year five student said she wanted to do her part to help others in need.

"I want to help because it would be really hard without a hand and this will make it easier for them," Makalya said.

"I want to do it to help the cause. We already have some milk, water, juice and soft drink lids collected at home and lots of people have said they have their own collections going.

"Some businesses said they will make their own collection points for me."

The final product is distributed to those in need in Third World countries and also gives the opportunity to support locals who are in need of a short-term hand or arm.

It takes around 250 lids to make a small hand but with wastage it can take up to 500 lids by the time it has been made.

For an arm between 500 and 1000 bottle caps are used.

The charity works don't stop there, with Makayla also collecting bread clips to support Aussie Bread Tags for Wheelchairs, where clips are sold to recyclers and money raised pays for wheelchairs in South Africa.

It takes more than 500kg of bread tags to fund two-to-three wheelchairs.

Bread clips, milk, water, juice and soft drink bottle caps can be dropped off to the Northam Primary School collection point or phone Janelle Smith on 0447 744 843.