At Shine, we believe in giving back to both our community and to those in need throughout the world. The two main ways we achieve this goal is by supporting our local Habitat for Humanity chapter and through a program called GivePower.
What is GivePower?
While most people are familiar with Habitat for Humanity, not many know about the GivePower program. Give Power is a non-profit organization that provides clean drinking water to those in the developing world by constructing solar powered water purification centers in areas without access to water utility services. This is important because clean water is the number one resource human beings need to survive. Without it, disease runs rampant cutting short lives and crippling the ability of families to make a living.
For Shine, this is a natural fit since it uses solar energy to provide this vital resource to those who lack it. It’s also very effective. One $20 donation can provide clean drinking water for up to 20 years to one person and just one water purification facility can provide clean water for up to 35,000 per day. Best of all, GivePower’s administrative and operational costs are all paid by another charitable group, which means that 100% of all donations go directly to achieving its goal.
Last year, Shine donated $42,000 to the GivePower program. This year, Shine is taking it a step further by doubling its contribution, but also by extending its commitment. Instead of simply donating, Shine is adopting a small, remote village on the Pacific shores of Columbia called La Sierpe, Valla Del Cauca, in which it will provide not only solar powered water purification facilities, but also solar energy. We call this effort The Shine Village and it is designed to provide basic and essential life needs that will improve health, increase incomes and allow more adults to get a basic education.
How Will This Help?
So, who are these folks and how will The Shine Village help them? La Sierpe, Valle del Cauca is an Afro-Columbian community of roughly 300 people. Families make a living mostly from fishing, which is also their primary food source. However, because it is very remote and surrounded by the jungle, La Sierpe doesn’t have access to the electric grid and therefore, no access to any type of power. Their main source of fresh water is from a nearby creek that villagers have to travel a mile to access. There are also approximately 80 children in the village who attend a school that can only operate during the day because there is no power. Many of the adults are illiterate and try to attend the school to learn, but this is difficult since it only operates when there is sunlight.
The Shine Village will address these needs by building a pipeline from the nearby creek that can pump water to the solar water purification facility that will be built in the heart of the village. In addition, Shine will also construct a solar panel array with a battery backup system that will provide power to the village and the water pumps. This will allow refrigeration that will secure the community’s primary food source (fish) into the no-fishing season, increase incomes and reduce stress on the local ecosystem. In addition, power will also allow the school to remain open longer thereby reducing adult illiteracy and will provide access to television, computers, and the Internet among other things.
By providing clean water and renewable energy to La Sierpe, The Shine Village will be providing the tools for these families to live self-sufficient and healthy lives. Although this may not change the world, it will make one corner of it a better place and we are proud to be a part of this effort.
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