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Archive for the ‘Burma’ Category

The actions of Walt Ratterman speak more clearly about his character than anything I could write. He has personally brought light to thousands of people around the world.  For example, he was the driving force behind bringing solar power to 37 clinics in Burma, serving over  170,000 internally displaced people a year. We had the honor of knowing and learning from Walt, an exemplary humanitarian dedicated to improving life around the world with renewable energy. We traveled and worked together in Thailand, Laos, Philippines, Peru and Nicaragua, while he was Program Director of Green Empowerment from 2003-2006. He worked side by side installing solar panels with Shuar natives in the jungles of Ecuador, traversed the rapids of rivers in Borneo to help on a micro-hydro project, and taught renewable energy in the highlands of Peru. He could easily make friends with people around the world, despite the language barriers, because anyone could relate to his sense of humor and down-to-earth friendliness. In 2006 he founded SunEnergy Power International , carried on his long-time work with Knightsbridge International, and continued to inspire everyone with his hard work, unwavering sense of justice and belief that everyone deserves to be treated as equals. In January, 2010, his dedication to humanity brought him to Haiti, where he was working on the installation of solar power for clinics. He was there when the earthquake hit. Friends and family searched for him in the ruins and sent their prayers.  Tragically, he did not survive, but his legacy lives on. He has taught me, and hundreds of others, that humility is a powerful force that can change the world.

-Anna Garwood and the Green Empowerment team

As a testiment to how many lives he has touched, as of writing this, there are 1882 fans of his Facebook page…

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Walt-Ratterman-Haiti-Mission/275563896042?ref=mf

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The 2009 Energy Globe Awards, which recognizes renewable energy projects worldwide, were held this past spring in Prague.  Green Empowerment’s Solar Mobile Clinic project in Burma was selected as the winner in the “Fire” category.  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.

Green Empowerment was also singled out as one of the top three organizations in the “Water” category for its solar water pumping and community empowerment projects in Nicaragua, specifically in Bramadero.

The award ceremony has been posted online and can be seen in its entirety at:  ENERGY GLOBE World Award Gala 2009.

 

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The 2009 Energy Globe Awards, which recognizes renewable energy projects worldwide, were held this past spring in Prague.  Green Empowerment’s Solar Mobile Clinic project in Burma was selected as the winner in the “Fire” category.  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. Green Empowerment was also singled out as one of the top three organizations in the “Water” category for its solar water pumping and community empowerment projects in Nicaragua, specifically in Bramadero.

The award ceremony has been posted online and can be seen in its entirety at the following link:  ENERGY GLOBE World Award Gala 2009.

The full video is 52 minutes long. The ‘Water’ category, which recognizes Green Empowerment in Bramadero Nicaragua, can be found at the 17 minute mark; the ‘Fire’ category, which recognizes Green Empowerment’s & BGET’s  solar clinic & hospital project in Burma, can be found at the 32 minute mark; and the Grand Award voting and result can be found at the 46 minute mark.

Enjoy!

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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.

Nicaragua

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.

Thailand/Burma

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.

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Green Empowerment has been selected as one of three finalists for the international Energy Globe Award in the “Water” category, for a series of solar water pumping projects in Nicaragua with partner AsoFenix.  To say we’re excited would be a vast understatement!

Nominations were chosen from a pool of 800 projects in 110 countries. A winner in each category will be selected at the Energy Globe Awards ceremony preceding the informal meeting of European Environment ministers in Prague on April 14th. The winner will receive 10,000 euros.

Our own Michel Maupoux will represent Green Empowerment at the formal Energy Globe Awards in Prague. Invitees to the meeting also include Carol Browner, climate advisor of US President Barack Obama, And our Thai partner, Border Green Energy Team. The event will be a televised gala that is viewed worldwide.

Green Empowerment was 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. These projects dramatically improve health and well being with environmentally sound alternative energy.

“Many of the challenges facing rural communities in developing countries can now be addressed by the use of simple, cost-effective sustainable systems like the solar water pump,” said Gordy Molitor, Executive Director, Green Empowerment. “However, moving forward, one of our goals is to assist with extended deployment of these systems by local organizations on a more regional level. The recognition by the Energy Globe Awards jury is a welcome validation of this work.”

Solar water pumping catalyzed community efforts to construct latrines, home gardens, build biogas digesters, showers and hand-washing stations. Each village organized to self-manage the systems, collects a tariff to maintain them, and elects a technician to operate the systems. Green Empowerment helped install a fourth solar pump in 2008 and has further plans for 2009 and beyond for more regional projects throughout rural Nicaragua.

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.

In addition to acknowledgment of Green Empowerment’s work, the Energy Globe has also recognized two of its partners. Thai partner Border Green Energy Team is the national winner for Burma and a finalist in the Fire category for the “Burma Solar Clinic and Hospital Project”, and Peruvian partner Practical Action has won the national Award for Peru for “Renewable Energy for Community Empowerment in Peru”.  Last year’s top nominees included SIBAT for “Fire” and AIDFI for “Water”.

We are deeply grateful to our partners and to our donors for bringing this distinction to our shared work.

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