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.
Green Empowerment has all the elements I value in a nonprofit. Their green energy projects in third world countries promote sustainability, economic development and train local workers. Green Empowerment is the best sustainable development program I know of.
Green Empowerment carries on the legacy of Ben Linder -- a remarkable, dear young man who gave his life to help poor Nicaraguan villagers have basic electricity through sustainable micro-hydro. Green Empowerment has taken the creativity and integrity that was Ben and brought excellent projects to more and more people. They partner effectively. They are the Best.
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!
As a former Peace Corps volunteer, I am excruciatingly conscious of how hard it is to implement a successful development project. Money doesn't correlate with success. Great ideas don't correlate with success. Overwhelming need for the project doesn't correlate with success. What seems to work most reliably is to keep the focus on the human relationships that underpin the technological and logistical aspects of the project. I am such an enthusiastic supporter of Green Empowerment because I feel they are one of the rare organizations that really get it--that development isn't about rolling out some shiny new mechanical marvel, but about methodically building up the social preconditions for success.
Green Empowerment doesn't just provide renewable energy and clean water in the most remote places of the world, they also improve the environment in the process. That's why I chose to volunteer at their offices once a week. I love the people that work there, so committed, creative, well traveled and multilingual.
I was impressed with Green Empowerment's mission and work, and the inspirational impact it has had through projects and partnerships around the world. Additionally, the staff are committed, engaged, and highly capable. I think overall it is a powerful organization with a lot of potential.
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.
I enjoy being part of an organization that not only provides appropriate, sustainable technology (wind, solar and micro-hydro) but also "walks the talk" on community empowerment by partnering with local NGOs and helping to organize community management of these systems! Green Empowerment also trains and connects government officals in many countries on sustainable energy, clean water systems, biogas and cookstove progress for rural communities so that knowledge is shared and best practices promoted. Impressive.
What impresses me about Green Empowerment is their focus and effectiveness.
They are focused on providing two essentials to those in need: clean water and electricity powered by renewable energy.
They are effective because the projects they drive are run through partnerships with NGOs in the target countries and the local community owns the resulting electricity and water projects.