Who We Work With
We work with marginalised people and communities who cannot access the resources they need to escape the threat of poverty. We work in partnership with these communities to develop and install innovative renewable energy systems to alleviate poverty, reduce inequality and encourage self sufficiency. Our work is particularly aimed at empowering people within the following groups.
Energy Poor Communities
Over 1.3 billion people have no access to clean safe energy. When their land dries up, they cannot pump water for irrigation. When they fall sick, there is no electricity for medical centres to treat them. They want to lift themselves out of poverty, but lack the power.
We work with marginalised people and communities who cannot afford or gain access to the energy or water they need to escape the threat of poverty. Those we work with often exist without access to basic infrastructure such as modern energy services, roads and ITC services. They frequently lack the education and skills needed to access markets and they therefore rely on subsistence farming for food. Climate change and unpredictable seasonal rainfall are becoming a huge threat to these rural poor and with only a low level of disposable income they are only one crop failure away from starvation.
In all areas of the world, women spend at least twice as much time doing unpaid chores as men. For those unable to access clean energy, cooking requires toxic fuels such as kerosene, and where water cannot be pumped it must be collected. Blackened and encrusted cooking pans take hours to clean. These tasks damage women’s health and sap their time and energy.
Renewable World can help alleviate these problems by making such tasks easier and safer, setting up projects which supply homes with clean biogas for fuel or pump water directly to villages. In some villages Renewable World has worked with, water collection journeys of 1-2 hours have been cut down to 3-4 minutes, leaving women more time to pursue education, enterprise, and even leisure.
We are also active in enabling women’s voices to be heard. When planning and implementing projects, focus groups comprised of women are consulted on their needs, and we ensure that women are represented on the community project committees. People like Sita Dawadi, Treasurer of the Water Users Committee in Sanaula Bazaar, Nepal, demonstrate that women are capable of holding positions of authority, helping to change attitudes towards women and widen their career opportunities.
What’s more a study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has shown that when more women work, economies grow. An increase in female labour force participation results in faster economic growth.
We believe in giving young people the skills they need to earn a living and lift themselves out of poverty.
To this end, we provide energy to homes, giving young people source of light to study by. We power education centres. We set up water pumping systems which allow young women to spend less time fetching water and more time studying.
We also focus on teaching young people how to use renewable energy, and the technology it powers, to earn a stable living.
For instance, ICT is taught to young people at the Maarifa Centre at Songambele, Tanzania, which is powered by a wind/solar system installed by us. This ICT training enables young people to pursue careers previously unavailable to them. 18 year old Hellaena Tayari got one such opportunity: she overcame a self-confessed ‘phobia’ of computers and learnt ICT at the centre. Now she works as an ICT teacher.
When we set up systems to manage and govern renewable energy sytems we make sure young people are strongly represented. For every two people employed to maintain and repair technology one person is under 24.
We also support UNICEF’s learning initiative which aims to teach useful career skills to 72,000 young Nepalis. We do this by showing some of these young people our energy systems and teaching them how they can profit from their use. The visual learning techniques we use enable illiterate young people to benefit.
Our experience suggests that young people usually understand new technologies better than older people, and so we often train them in installation and maintenance, giving them a chance to contribute to the community.
Small Business Owners
We believe the best way to improve people’s lives is to empower them to start and improve their own businesses and generate income to support . Access to renewable energy enables people to pursue income streams never previously available to them. Global warming is making harvests worldwide increasingly unreliable, but by diversifying their income streams, people can escape from dependence on one fragile crop, lifting themselves out of desperation and into stability,
Here are a few examples:
- The heat available from their new local biogas plant allows Ms. Kalpana Nepali and Mr. Lekhnath Subedi of Sindhupalchowk, Nepal to process the near-worthless local lapsi fruit into profitable jellies and candies.
- A maize milling machine has been installed in the Chebich coffee cooperative, Kenya, allowing farmers to grow and process maize. They had previously relied only on coffee.
- Juan Carlos Molina Tinoco from Wiwili, Nicaragua has installed a light and a radio in his shop. His business has since increased by 50%.
United Nations, 2014, The World’s Women 2010 [online] Available here [Accessed 20th October 2014]
 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Gender Equality in Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship: Final Report to the MCM 2012. – See more at: http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/economic-empowerment/facts-and-figures#notes