Please help me to Empower Dhapchung, Nepal - sustainably!!
Organized by: David Green
And still going strong!!
August 19, 2016
EVENT DATE Sep 01, 2016
Our non-profit, GRID Alternatives International Program, is leading a project to bring solar power & internet to new local business, homes, and a school in Dhapchung, Nepal - one of the communities most damaged by the 2015 "Gorkha" earthquake. Importantly, our model is focused on empowerment, versus “aid”. We ensure local buy-in, collaborate with the community & partner NGOs, and then help to provide resources and structure to maximize the benefits and longevity of each project. Typically the projects provide educational, health, & entrepreneurial opportunities, as well as women's empowerment. The motto is "Empowerment through Access to Renewable Energy". Links to past projects below.
I've been fortunate enough to work on the Steering Committee of GRID's International Program (formerly Power to the People) for the past 6 years and have also participated in two trips to Nicaragua. I'm going on this trip to contribute generally, and also to assess, as this is a pilot project for us (new country, first microgrid, etc.).
The model is "Voluntourism", where trip volunteers install solar systems alongside community members, and also contribute finances towards the project itself, as well as covering their personal travel expenses.
Even Steering Committee members pay full price ($2,000 + airfare, etc), and I would appreciate your support towards this project!!! Any size donation is perfect.
All money raised will go first towards my contribution to the project itself, and if enough is raised, towards airfare to get me there.
I am STOKED to be working on this project, and with this great organization in general.
Thank you for your interest and support!!!
WITH GRATITUDE AND THANKS
धन्यवाद (DHANYABAD) IN NEPALI
Please feel free to contact me with any questions. 510.282.3403
PS Please keep in mind if your employer matches donations!
This project, Dhapchung, Nepal (info also below)
Map of Dhapchung (does not show up in Google Maps)
Empower Generation - Empowering Women
Power Up Nepal Project:
6.6 million people are living without power in Nepal.
One year after the devastating earthquakes, Nepali people are still working to move from rubble to reconstruction, and from darkness to light. In the wake of the disaster, GRID Alternatives is launching a project to bring solar power to one of the most deeply impacted communities in Nepal: the village of Dhapchung.
GRID Alternatives’ innovative 16kW solar micro-grid project will bring electricity to the community’s school and households, improving quality of life for 40 families and unlocking educational potential for their children. Access to energy will also allow community members to start local businesses: a saw mill to expedite the reconstruction of homes, and a grain mill for processing locally grown crops, two income-generating opportunities that are key to a sustainable recovery.
ABOUT THE COMMUNITY
Dhapchung is a small village in the mountainous terrain of Sindhupalchok, one of the least developed districts of Nepal. The remote village is a three-hour walk from the nearest road. The community was heavily affected by the 2015 earthquakes, and many residents are still living in temporary shelters. The residents of Dhapchung are Tamang, an ethnic group indigenous to the Himalayan regions of Nepal and India. Most are subsistence farmers who grow crops on the terraced hillsides. Many families in Dhapchung rely on expensive, unreliable, and toxic non-renewable energy sources for their lighting and cooking.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
In September 2016, GRID Alternatives volunteers and staff will travel to Dhapchung to install a 16kW solar micro-grid in the community in partnership with Gham Power, a local solar company. The system will bring lights, AC power, and internet to all 40 homes, the school and local businesses.
Today, few rural community micro-grid models exist that are self-sustaining and meet the long-term needs of the beneficiaries. This pilot project will demonstrate how a rural micro-grid can be implemented in a sustainable way, providing reliable, high-quality clean energy 24 hours a day and catalyzing the long-term economic development of the community.
Our experience in Nicaragua has taught us that community partnerships are key to successful projects. GRID partnered with the Digo Bikas Institute, a local research and advocacy organization with deep roots in the area, to select the community and engage them in the project from the very beginning. Dhapchung residents and businesses will pre-pay for electricity from the micro-grid through a smart meter, allowing them to track electricity usage and avoid using more electricity than they can afford. The local mother’s group will manage the system, and a member will be hired to collect the funds. To ensure the project meets the community’s energy needs long-term, the funds from the pre-pay system will go towards replacement components and the maintenance contract with Gham Power.
Electricity will provide a safer, more affordable lighting option for homes; give students and teachers access to the internet and other electronic resources to accelerate their learning; charge cell phones and other devices cheaply and locally; and provide local businesses and entrepreneurs with the tools they need to be successful. To further extend the impact of this project, GRID Alternatives is partnering with Empower Generation, a women’s entrepreneurship nonprofit, to implement a solar lighting program that will engage women of Dhapchung in selling solar lights to surrounding communities.
By combining community involvement and opportunity with a plan for financial sustainability and ongoing maintenance of the micro-grid, this project will both jump-start earthquake recovery and provide a foundation for the community’s long-term economic development.