This is an organization which has been recognized as doing so very much with very little. Clean water and rural electrification are critical to improved conditions for impoverished communities.
I began working with Green Empowerment through their service learning trips. I traveled with them to Nicaragua (solar water pump) and Philippines (microhydro). They have a great, sustainable strategy and are incredibly efficient - working with local groups and fundraising from a variety of sources. They are also wonderful to work with. Check them out!
I have been involved with Green Empowerment from the start and am always amazed how much we do to further electrification and potable water, as well as watershed restoration in the most impoverished sections and communities in the world, subsistence or under $1/day in income. Green Empowerment itself is a medium size NGO- 8 staff, 15 regular volunteers, 8 Board members. But the model for Green Empowerment is to work with and through technical NGO partner organizations in the countries in which we work. This is key to Green Empowerment's values of sustainability, local leadership and social justice. As our partners in the various countries have a collective 400-500 staff, it means that Green Empowerment can have an outsize impact. It is not a surprise the Portland Monthly recently chose Green Empowerment as the NGO able to do the most with the least.
What I like about Green Empowerment is that it is lean and mean. It does a lot with a little, meaning most of the donated funds go to the work in the field. They believe in capacity building of local partners and networking partners for sharing experiences and technology. Renewable energy is not only green, but it is sometimes the only choice rural communities have for power generation. The staff are wonderful - hardworking, passionate and dedicated. I feel privileged to be part of this organization.