Dear Friends & Family
Greetings from The World Energy Project (WEP)! In the last year we have had a number of extraordinary opportunities to make a difference in the lives of students around the world, and would love to share them with you. We are also excited about our next project, and want to tell you about that as well.
Last summer, eight members of WEP had the opportunity to travel to Uganda and Kenya. Our experiences there profoundly influenced our vision moving forward, and have allowed us to refocus our mission in order to make a greater impact. In Uganda, we worked alongside Jim Rickett’s charity “Opportunity Education,” and exploredpossibilities for future projects. Our team split up and spent a week teaching in various schools across the capital city of Kampala. We were able to teach classes ranging from English to the sciences, including Physics and Calculus.
Chris Lander teaching Ugandan students about the water cycle.
The experience allowed us to become familiar with the Ugandan educational environment and interact with the students. Most importantly, we were able to assess the energy needs of a typical school in Kampala during our time there.
After our time in Uganda, our team moved on to Kenya, where we finally had the opportunity to meet all of the wonderful people at St. Anne’s Girls School in Kapkemich. It was great to be able to shake hands and sit down with the people we had been working with for over a year. While meeting with the local electrician, we learned that there was no place in the school safe enough to house the batteries for the solar panel system, so we arranged for a separate battery room to be built in back of the school.
Unfortunately, we had many communication problems with the company we were using to ship our container of solar panels and equipment from the States. Due to these problems, the container did not arrive while we were in Kenya. In fact, it did not arrive until December 2012! We are excited, however, that the solar panels are there, and are being transported to the school under the guidance of Father Anthony, who is currently in Kenya.
We were disappointed we could not install our solar panel system, but we still found ways to make use of our opportunity. We were able to spend time getting to know the students and were able to help the school in other ways. It turned out the school had a building for a library, but all of the books were boxed up. So for two weeks The World Energy Project became the “World Library Project”. There were roughly a quarter of a million books that had arrived in a shipping container courtesy of Friends of St. Anne’s, and they needed to be unpacked and organized into categories. Some of our team went around the village looking for lumber and nails, while others designed shelves for our limited supplies. At one point, one member of the village took us to his father so we could buy clay bricks to use for our shelving. Once the students saw our team carrying these bricks up to the school, they all came out and created a make-shift assembly line, passing the bricks to each other and bringing them to the library building.
While working on the library, we became more and more aware of the incredible impact sustainable energy would have for the school. Without sources of reliable energy, students are faced with the reality of insufficient lighting in their classrooms, studying by candlelight when the power constantly turns off, and limited access to the Internet at a time when information is the currency of relevancy and growth. Now, more than ever, it’s apparent how students in the developing world are at a major disadvantage without access to reliable electricity. These experiences led the World Energy Project to refocus our ideas and implement a new campaign designed to have a direct impact on education called Energy for Education.
Education for Energy
Energy for Education is program to engage the world in a dialogue centered on global awareness of sustainable energy challenges. Only by empowering people to overcome these challenges can we hope to achieve a sustainable future. Through this campaign, The World Energy Project will continue to implement solar panel systems in schools in the developing world, ensuring they have the energy needs to support a 21st century educational environment. Additionally, we will be doing more outreach to raise awareness among students here in the US. We will give interactive presentations on the issues of energy poverty and sustainability in US school districts, as well as facilitating a connection between schools here and abroad by allowing classrooms to communicate directly with one another via Skype to share stories, art, writing, culture, and more. This campaign will instill a sense of responsibility and empowerment, and serve as a stepping-stone toward establishing the collaborative relationships needed to achieve a sustainable future for all.
This April, one of our members, Casey Heier, was able to attend to the Clinton Global Initiative University conference, where The World Energy Project was one of 16 semi-finalists (out of more than 300 applicants from around the world) in a competition to get financial support. Although we did not make it to the final round, we feel more passionate about our campaign than ever. However, we cannot move forward without your help. We thank you already for everything you have done, whether it has been a previous donation, or just staying informed on what the World Energy Project is doing. As we move forward, would you please make a donation of $100, $50, or $25 to WEP? We cannot overstate the importance of donations, for without your contributions we cannot work to meet our goals. You can send a check to our parent organization, Global Partners in Hope, using the donation envelop enclosed, or you can donate online at www.globalpartnersinhope.com/donate. All donations are tax deductible. Please make sure and indicate that your donation is for The World Energy Project.
An educated society is a strong society, but an educated world is a loving one- a forgiving one- a compassionate, understanding, connected, and lasting world. That is exactly what we strive for and if you can find any way to help we would be much obliged.
The World Energy Project