by Sara Eisemann
SILOE, HAITI — Enèji Pwòp visited this Port-au-Prince community last month to bring a little extra brightness to the girls of Center for the Arts, Port-au-Prince, which works to empower its students through arts education. Thanks to a partnership with EarthSpark and a generous donor, Enèji Pwòp was able to present 50 girls and their mothers with an afternoon of energy literacy education and a special bonus: one of our Lanp Enèji Pwòp.
Education is one of the cornerstones of Enèji Pwòp’s retail business, from training our clean energy entrepreneurs in financial and energy literacy to providing them with the tools to teach those same concepts to their customers. At Center for the Arts, Market Development Agent Sandra Marcel contrasted traditional energy sources like kerosene and charcoal with clean energy like solar power, discussing with an enthusiastic audience the social, health, and economic benefits the Lanp Enèji Pwòp would bring to their lives.
One of the most striking things about the presentation was the students’ awareness about the ways energy and environmental issues affect their nation. The girls, most in their early teens, already know that charcoal production leads to deforestation and flooding and that using kerosene lamps hurts your eyes and can cause respiratory problems and even household fires.
Of course, this awareness comes from a daily confrontation of the energy poverty that surrounds them — and makes them eager to find solutions to problems as simple as not having enough light to draw or paint at night. At the end of the afternoon, each girl promised to take an active role in finding those solutions as a clean energy ambassador to her friends and community, teaching her peers about the benefits of her new lamp and encouraging them to save money, time, and energy with Enèji Pwòp.