The Village Projects Website will be a ‘clearinghouse’ for information on current projects from the poorest countries in the world engaged in rural electrification, poverty alleviation and social entrepreneurism with a particular emphasizes on energy efficiency and clean electricity.
A relentless stream of images of pathetic situations, starving people and children dying in a mother’s arms reinforces that people in the developing countries are victims and sets us (the developed countries) up as the saviors who will rescue them. Such a colonial era mentality is inappropriate and outdated. People in the developing countries are hard working (they’ve had to be to survive); they love their families and want to provide for them. What they need is a supportive hand up, not a hand out. A good example of this empowerment approach is The Hunger Project, as exemplified by their ‘Africa Prize for Leadership for the Sustainable End of Hunger.’ So our purpose is not to further victimize people in the developing countries.
This website is about shining a light on what is working, on people’s industriousness and self sufficiency. It is also about the supportive hand, facilitating access to either an idea that makes things work a little better (solar lighting for reading) or a tool that suits a need in a village (solar electricity for refrigeration in a health center) or allows them to earn a living (producing more crops using a specially designed hand pump). The website is about featuring those projects that embody empowerment.
|Boy reading by solar light||Using a solar light in a clinic|
We see the website and marketing campaigns as the fastest ways to broadcast and accelerate the exchange of information on thousands of projects operating successfully in countries around the world. Ultimately, our goal is to accelerate the rate of success in villages pulling themselves out of poverty.
For detailed information, begin by downloading the proposal documents to learn more about the specifics of the project. Next, explore several quick videos below on some outstanding examples of successful projects to be featured on the website.
Then, we invite you to register your interest, and we’ll keep you updated on our progress.
The ‘Clearing House’ For Action
The Village Projects website will be a dynamic tool containing several databases and even handbooks for implementing a project. It will contain the following:
- general information on development projects,
- a list of projects underway by country,
- a database of all the organizations engaged in projects by country and project type,
- contact information for project leaders for interactivity and sharing of information,
- a ‘manufacturers and suppliers’ database by country where projects are operating,
- a database of micro lending policies and lenders by country and
- a means for direct public participation in funding featured projects.
The website will be updated as projects, articles and information are added and refined by experience.
The website will serve many functions. It will provide country leaders with an overall picture of the projects underway in their country and show which ones are succeeding. Organizations running projects will learn about other projects in different parts of the same country, or they can learn about what’s happening in another country or continent, especially about ‘appropriate technologies’ for villages. For example, a village appropriate design developed in Kenya (like a water pump) may be useful in India or Latin America. The website can catalyze an organization to start a project where gaps exist. Organizers or villages can find out about suppliers and manufacturers of the materials and equipment they might need, such as solar panels or a water pump for irrigation. This in itself can lead to opportunities for entrepreneurship. For organizations or villages seeking financial support, it will provide information about micro lenders.
Another major purpose of the website is to raise funds for development projects around the world. Someone once said, “We have far more need to serve others than they have need to be served.” Through online fundraising technologies, individuals can either donate or invest directly in projects a world away. Using “Featured Projects” and ongoing marketing, we will give the public a direct means of supporting projects that inspire them.
It became clear in the research that lead to this website proposal that there are hundreds of successful projects underway around the world. Below are several videos that show such projects. These are the types of organizations and their work that will be ‘Featured’ periodically on the website with the intent of driving donations or investments to them.
The Millennium Villages are based on a single powerful idea: impoverished villages can transform themselves and meet the Millennium Development Goals if they are empowered with the proven, powerful, practical technologies.
The Barefoot College began in 1972 with the conviction that solutions to rural problems lie within the community. The College benefits the poorest of the poor who have no alternatives.
SELF believes that energy is a human right. Their mission is to provide solar power and wireless communications to a quarter of the worlds population living in energy poverty.
For updates, expressions of interest, or for more information
about how to participate, please register here.
The Village Projects Website is an endeavor of
Global Energy Network Institute – GENI
4420 Rainier Ave, Suite 308
San Diego, California 92120
For updates, expressions of interest, or for more information about
how to participate, please register here.