Imagine the sun setting and plunging your house into darkness. You need light, but you can’t just flick a switch. Instead, you light a wick sitting in a dish of kerosene. As it burns you settle down with your children, you try to teach them to read. Huddled round the candle’s meagre light, you begin to feel dizzy. You’re sure the words didn’t look that fuzzy when you were younger.
For the privilege of poisoning yourself with the toxic fumes emitted by burning kerosene, you have had to travel for ten hours. If you need to visit a hospital, you will have to make a three hour trip across a choppy bay. You can only pay for fuel and healthcare with the profits made from your small farm, but temperatures have been rising recently and your crops are struggling. You are cut off from fuel, from choices, from any chance of betterment.
Life for many in rural Nicaragua is something like this. Nicaragua is one of the most impoverished countries in Central America, with 60% of the rural population living below the national poverty line. For these people, living in isolated communities, fuel for energy is expensive and difficult to obtain, and will only become more so as fossil fuel prices continue to rise. Lack of energy severely limits their career opportunities, and prevents them from being able to set up health and education centres.
This situation is needless.
Nicaraguans are surrounded by an abundance of energy. The tropical sun shines bright in Nicaragua, and wind blows strongly along the coast. All they need is the ability to harness these energy sources, and they can transform them into opportunities.
But they need our help. The startup costs of renewable energy systems are often too high for poor rural communities. By helping to foot the bill, Renewable World is helping people to set up their own small farming businesses and refrigerate their crops so they keep their value. We are helping people to power health centres, and to light up their homes.