How Green Empowerment and Thai Partner, Border Green Energy Team, Rocked the 2009 Energy Globe Awards
Salinee Tavaranan accepts Energy Globe Award Grand Prize
Green Empowerment’s “Solar Mobile Clinic and Hospital” project in Burma was selected as the winner of the international Energy Globe Award in the “Fire” category on Tuesday. The project, implemented by Thai partner Border Green Energy Team (BGET), was also voted overall Grand Prize Winner by the audience at a televised gala during a meeting of the European Union environment ministers in Prague.
The award was accepted by BGET Director Salinee Tavaranan. BGET will receive 10,000 euros (Approx. $13,000) in prize money. Green Empowerment’s Southeast Asia Program Manager Michel Maupoux was also in attendance. Nominations were chosen from a pool of 766 projects in 110 countries.
The project enabled the procurement of solar power systems and provides training for staff in 35 remote jungle clinics and two larger hospitals, serving 175,000 people, including many internally displaced ethnic minorities. The clinics are scattered over 600 miles of eastern Burma, a noted conflict zone. Solar systems must be frequently disassembled and moved on short notice, and equipment must be carried over the border from Thailand in backpacks. Green Empowerment’s role is technical design and training.
“Renewable energy is often the most inexpensive way to provide electricity to poor people in remote areas and often the only way to do so within a conflict zone. ” said Gordy Molitor, Executive Director, Green Empowerment. “This award to BGET is a testament to the inventiveness and tenacity of the Burmese people in the face of adversity.”
Green Empowerment was also singled out as one of the top three organizations in the world for its “Solar Water Pumping and Community Empowerment” projects in Nicaragua. Green Empowerment worked with Nicaraguan partner Asofenix to construct three solar water pumps in rural Nicaragua between 2004 and 2007, bringing water to the homes of 960 people who previously had to haul buckets long distances. One more system was installed in 2008 and more are planned. These projects dramatically improve health and well being with environmentally sound alternative energy.
The Energy Globe Award distinguishes projects that sustainably use our resources such as water, earth, energy and air or use renewable energy forms. Awards are given nationally and internationally in the categories Earth, Fire, Water, Air and Youth. The Awards were established in 1999.
How You Can Help Continue the Burma Project and Others
Your donations help bring solar power to health clinics along the Thai/Burmese border and needed water to rural villages in Nicaragua, as well as a host of other vital projects. You can help continue this globally-acclaimed work.
Green Empowerment and Nicaraguan partner, AsoFenix, are currently working to bring solar water pumping systems to the villages of El Jocote and Corozo, which will bring water to 700 people for years to come. Our goals for El Jocote and Corozo:
- Give each person at least 10 gallons of clean water each day
- Reduce the time villagers spend hauling water
- Improve health conditions and overall quality of life
- Restore the watershed for long-term safeguarding of the water supply
- Improve family health and nutrition by growing vegetables
Each solar water pumping system, including design, community development, equipment, and installation, costs approximately $60,000. Your donation can catalyze funding from local governments and foundations.
Along the Thai/Burmese border, BGET and Green Empowerment are laying the groundwork for solar power to one medical clinic and a school dormitory. We are ready to implement these two projects in October 2009 and want only funding.
- The clinic currently serves about 13 villages on both sides of Thai/Burma border. A solar electric system will power a vaccine refrigerator, microscope lights, operation lights, and other medical equipment.
- The dormitory is home to around 30 Karen children of all ages whose families are unable to support their education at home. These children stay at the dorm where they are housed, fed and supported in many other ways. All of the children attend the local Thai school. The dorm has been going since 1998. The solar system will power a computer, satellite internet, and lights.
Both of these projects together would benefit several thousand people. A half dozen full time medics work at any given time at the clinic. About thirty students reside at the dorm.
Help us celebrate this success brought via the Energy Globe Awards by building on it
to bring light and water to entire communities who now do without. Thank you for your support.