This Christmas the Evangelical Environmental Network and New Vision Renewable Energy are partnering together to bring solar lights to families in Malawi and Honduras through our local church-based partners. This is community based development at its best and the start of a long term process to transform the lives of rural villages in Malawi and Honduras.
Many families own just one simple light (like the one in the picture).They spend between $7-12 on batteries multiple times a year. When they don't use lights they use wood burning fires or kerosene lamps. Indoor air pollution is a leading cause for asthma and respiratory illness in the developing world. Not to mention the number of women who get second and third degree burns from using wood for heating and cooking. The number of women su!ering from burns rivals the number that contract HIV in any given year.
While solar light does not eliminate the need for wood in cooking it can be part of a whole range of interventions that drastically reduces a family's need for wood and kerosene. Decentralized locally owned solar light can also spur innovation in parts of the world where centralized generators are too expensive and too insecure to maintain in rural/remote parts of the world. We view energy solutions as needing to be both/and not either/or.
Here is what the solar Christmas Lights look like in action:
EEN believes these locally owned, church-based community development solutions are the key to bringing hope, life, and a future for many of the poor in remote Malawi and Honduras. To see the lights in action click here for a short video. Here's some information EEN's local church-based partners.
Eagles Relief and Development (Malawi)
A registered Malawian charity set up by Living Waters Church in 2002 with a vision to free Malawi from hunger and poverty. Eagles brings a self-help approach to overcome despair and improve everyone's lives. Eagles enable villages to grow enough food, look after the vulnerable, and care for the environment. Eagles train churches to help their communities identify their problems and come up with solutions.
MOPAWI works in a region that is 20 percent of Honduras' land territory, but only has between 100,000-120,000 people. Many of them are native to the land. MOPAWI works through local churches to bring transformative community development by eliminating incentives for deforestation and promoting sustainable economic development.
The Advent devotional guide prepared for our joint Christmas Lights work, features pieces from Leighton Ford, Christian music artist Josh Wilson, Pastor Jimmy Dorrell of Mission Waco/MissionWorld, Marilee Pierce Dunker the daughter of Bob and Lorraine Pierce, founders of World Vision and Samaritan's Purse, Pastor Matthew J. Watts of Grace Bible Church, and many others.
Please join with us this Advent to bring hope, light, and life to families around the world.