During my trip to Kenya I have learned how energy poverty is affecting people in their day to day lives and is hampering their futures. Not having clean, safe, and healthy options for energy is taking a toll on the regions children. It is difficult for children to complete schoolwork when there is no light. Many kids fall behind in their school work or get discouraged causing them to drop out all together. They lose hope in getting an education and some sadly turn to crime as a source of income for their families. The children’s futures are in peril because they don’t have access to electricity.
The micro-hydro system that creates electricity in the village of Kathambe has afforded many children of the region the opportunity to finish school and go onto university. The micro-hydro system has provided electricity for lights allowing them to complete their homework at night. They have also been able to connect to the outside world by listening to the news on their radios. Unlike the other communities they do not have to take long time consuming journeys to collect wood for fuel. Not having to collect wood has been a blessing for the young girls who before the micro- hydro system did not have time to attend school due to chores.
Graduating from school has allowed them to have choices of how they can earn a living. It was excited to learn that individuals that graduated from universities often come back to their villages to help continue the improvements that are breaking the cycle of energy poverty. A simple light bulb can make all the difference in a child’s life.
Its incredible that in 2012, over 1.3 billion people in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia still have no access to electricity? The UN has declared 2012 the Year of Sustainable Energy. We need to show our support for programs that will provide access for everyone to clean and safe energy sources around the world.
Imagine the changes that would happen if the people dealing with energy poverty could get all the resources they need to provide electricity for their communities? How would our world change? I am hopeful that if we take action even in small ways we can help the world overcome energy poverty and every child can have a future that will be bright with light!
Love, and Light G
Did you know?
• Many small scale micro-hydro projects are already having huge success helping children and communities throughout Africa. Watch this video and learn about one micro-hydro project in Rwanda that is making it possible for children to connect to the internet for the first time!
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