Green Empowerment is an organization that partners with rural communities across the world on improving access to renewable energy, safe drinking water, sanitation, and more. These projects are a collaboration with the communities to ensure long-term economic and environmental sustainability. Through their projects, they are advancing the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations: #6 Clean Water and Sanitation, #7 Affordable and Clean Energy, and #17 Partnerships for the Goals. Green Empowerment envisions an equitable world where everyone has access to clean water, renewable energy, and a healthy environment to live in.
Connecting the What, Who, and How
The United Nations has set these seventeen sustainability goals with the intent that they are an “urgent call for action by all countries-developed and developing- in a global partnership.” Green Empowerment is one of the many organizations working towards these set goals, but there is immense potential for there to be greater scale involvement in the United States and across the world. The sharing of Green Empowerment’s mission and advancements in the United Nation’s sustainability goals can encourage other organizations to work towards these collective goals.
Engagement is listening to each experience and can lead to conversation towards action. Hearing stories from the rural communities Green Empowerment works with and from Green Empowerment begins to create a dialogue about how impactful these partnerships are. Stories from the field document how volunteers collaborated with communities to further refine Green Empowerment’s model to focus even more on local leadership and community ownership. The dialogic model of communication of a two way conversation, where each person has the ability to share their idea is very much used to foster these connections with communities in Green Empowerment. This form of communication and engagement is key to collaborating on a project because each stakeholder (community members and Green Empowerment volunteers) brings an important aspect.
One aspect of their approach is Impact Expansion, “We amplify our impact through regional networks, technical training, and service learning.” The Green Empowerment Organizational Theory: Public Summary expands on how they aim to expand their impact towards promotion and documentation of best practices, facilitation of connections and partnerships between complementary actors, etc. One of the outcomes they use to measure the effectiveness of their work is increased organizational visibility. A proposed partnership with Green Empowerment could build upon their emphasis on impact expansion and highlight the importance of reaching the sustainability goals of the United Nations. Increasing organizational visibility can mean sharing stories from community members about the impact these projects had on their lives and volunteers to their website. Another way to build upon impact expansion is through creating partnerships and networks in new countries. Green Empowerment also measures their effectiveness through the South-South Knowledge Exchange, which connects policy makers and developmental practitioners within and across countries to learn from each others’ experiences…” Similarly, encouraging organizations in both developed and developing countries to ask their representatives to write and pass their own goals to further support the advancement of the sustainability goals set by the United Nations.