Youth

Power to the People

Paige Medley

Volunteering to impact the lives of disadvantaged people has always been my dream. This dream materialized in the summer of 2013 when I got the opportunity to work with the Power to the People organization, now a part of Grid Alternatives, on one of their trips to provide solar energy to a small rural community called Santa Ana in Nicaragua.

Approximately 30% of Nicaraguans do not have access to electricity due to poor infrastructure and high costs. Most of them live in rural areas that are not connected to the national energy grid. A large majority of such off-grid populations is left with no alternative but to use kerosene lamps, which create health and environmental hazards. Power to the People mobilizes volunteers to provide electricity to such rural communities by installing solar panels. By providing access to safe and renewable energy, the organization helps people to improve their quality of life. So far, they have installed thirteen solar projects across Nicaragua, ranging from 680 Watts to 1.38 Kilowatts.

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Students for Sustainable Energy for All (SSEA)

Natasha Cockfield

Providing Sustainable Energy for All is a generational challenge. As the leaders of tomorrow, students will play a crucial role in achieving the goals that the world community today has set for itself. To mobilize youth participation in this emerging revolution, Global Energy Initiative launched the Students for Sustainable Energy for All (SSEA) program in June 2014. This program is an important milestone in GEI’s overall mission of fighting energy poverty, protecting the environment and mitigating the effects of climate change.

The SSEA network is comprised of student groups at multiple universities around the globe – from the Americas to Europe to Africa to Asia – all of whom share the same mission of promoting sustainable energy for all under the organizational umbrella of Global Energy Initiative. Through their respective SSEA chapters, students lead efforts to promote sustainable energy by creating awareness on their campuses, in their local communities and beyond. They organize workshops, panel discussions, educational and other outreach programs on current global environmental and energy issues. SSEA chapters have initiated several projects such as the Environmental Sustainability Campaign (SSEA University of Calabar), the Energy Efficient Wood Stoves Project (SSEA University of Beirut), the Solar Heat Project 2014 (SSEA Earlham College), and many others.

Read more: Students for Sustainable Energy for All (SSEA)

 

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