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Making a Difference: Friends Unite Solar Energy Project

Making a Difference: Friends Unite Solar Energy Project

By Murali Bashyam
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This information is shared courtesy of CEN Member Murali Bashyam.

Our nonprofit has been helping with a project to bring solar energy to a small school called the Anjana Vidyakendra School, which is in a very poor community in rural India.  The school receives only three hours of grid electricity a day, and even that is unreliable, which makes it difficult for the children to complete their classes and their studies.  Installation of solar panels at the school will help provide reliable energy for the school, and allow the children access to modern technology such as computers, which will help provide them with better educational opportunities.

Last week our solar energy project was selected to participate in GlobalGiving's Open Challenge.  Global Giving is a nonprofit organization dedicated to building a connection between nonprofits and philanthropists around the world.  In order to be accepted into the Global Giving network, first-time nonprofits must submit a project which, if approved by GlobalGiving, must meet the Open Challenge -- to raise $4,000 from at least 50 donors in one month.  Friends Unite has until April 30th to meet this challenge in order to secure a permanent spot on the GlobalGiving website.  In addition, the funds raised through this challenge will go directly towards completing the solar panel installation at the school.

Below are two links - one to the project description on the Global Giving website and one to a video of the school which was taken when one of the Friends Unite board members visited the school last December:

http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/using-solar-energy-to-help-children-in-rural-india/

http://blog.friendsunite.org/2011/04/04/video-solar-energy-project-in-rural-india/

If you would, take a few minutes to read the project description (on the above link and attached) and watch the video.  If you are interested in the project and would like to contribute, click the above GlobalGiving link to donate.  Please only give an amount with which you feel comfortable.  (The minimum allowed by GlobalGiving is $10)  You can donate anonymously, and you won't receive future emails from GlobalGiving unless you specifically request it. Also, please do not feel obligated to donate. 

This is not just about raising funds, but raising awareness.  Feel free to forward this to other family and friends who might be interested in learning about the project and about Friends Unite. 

Phase 1 of this project is about to start next week, and any money raised towards this project will go towards Phase 2 and 3.  Once Phase 3 is complete, these kids will have the electricity for classroom and street lighting, as well as a fully functioning computer lab.

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