General Project Information
Our collaborative project with Green Empowerment aims to spread awareness about the organization to Portland communities and gain local support. The proposed project consists of a video sharing stories and perspectives from people involved with Green Empowerment; beneficiaries, volunteers, and members of the board of directors. To complete the project, we would continue a partnership with Green Empowerment so that students at Lewis & Clark would play a primary role by being the ones who would conduct the interviews with each player in the organization, and would compose the videos for Green Empowerment. Our goals for the project were developed in accordance with the values which Green Empowerment cares deeply about. We aimed to incorporate partnership, engagement, capacity building, and impact expansion to the various elements in our project in order to maximize the connection and demonstrate our understanding of our potential partnership. To date, we have not been able to form an official partnership with Green Empowerment because of unforeseen circumstances regarding COVID-19. We are hoping this project will be carried out in the future when this partnership can be secured.
Access to affordable and reliable energy is a vital element for sustainable development. Access to electricity provides opportunities for economic building activities; such as industry, transportation, commerce, micro-enterprises, and agriculture (Dijk, 2010). In the off-grid and rural areas of developing countries, energy solutions have received an increasing amount of attention due to their contributions to reducing poverty. However, most of the rural population in many developing countries still has little or no access to modern energy technologies (Guta et.al, 2017).
As of 2012, 780 million people lack access to safe drinking water and 2.5 billion people lack access to proper sanitation. 14,000 people die everyday from illness related to these issues, including, but not limited to, malaria, parasites, and diarrhea (Salaam-Blyther, 2012). The World Health Organization believes that these numbers are underestimations due to insufficient data collection, and that these numbers will only increase as climate change is exacerbated.
Instilling renewable energy and water treatment projects in developing countries is a more complex issue than simply bringing money into communities to solve problems. Consistent collaboration is needed to place projects into communities for them to be long lasting and sustainable. Other factors, such as the need for skilled personnel for operation and maintenance, service networks, availability of spare parts, socio-economic integration and adaptive capacity of communities to transfer and develop technology appropriate to local needs and circumstances play a large role (Schäfer et. al, 2014).
The adoption of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) embodies this ability to create change in humanity and our environment through collaboration, engagement, and proactive action. Consisting of a list of ambitious goals and targets, the SDGs address the key changes required in the global financial and economic system to bring about fundamental sustainability transformations. Countries, individuals, and organizations, such as Green Empowerment, who then implement the objectives and ambitions of the SDGs are working to solve problems through interdisciplinary and effective approaches.
So why does Green Empowerment focus on this issue and how do they choose whom to work with? Eleven percent of the world’s population lacks access to electricity and most of these people are living in rural, and remote locations. In order to reduce poverty and pollution and increase health, Green Empowerment partners with locals to provide renewable electricity and other clean energy. Providing access to electricity to these remote areas helps boost the local economies by promoting the creation of local industry and agriculture. By providing clean energy, specifically, Green Empowerment is helping reduce pollution related illnesses.
Green Empowerment has partner organizations in all of the countries they work with to help oversee their projects. Every project starts off as a formal request from a community member to one of the partners. This means that the needs of the communities are being identified by locals themselves and not by people working for Green Empowerment. Green Empowerment focuses on providing skills and training to create longevity within the projects long after Green Empowerment leaves the area. The local communities are involved with the renewable energy and clean water projects every step of the way.
Green Empowerment (April, 2020)
- Don’t focus on attracting volunteers, as their service learning program has ended.
- “Fundraising and Friendraising” efforts are most valuable.
- Green Empowerment has an interesting history and start that we could share through our video project.
- Due to COVID-19 they are no longer traveling to the field , so beneficiary input is not an option at the moment.
ENVS-295 Peers (April 2020)
- Identify the “who” of the project more clearly. Who exactly is this project aimed at?