Flick a switch, and your kitchen is flooded with light. At the press of a button your living room fills with music. You only need to turn a dial and your house begins to warm up. So many of us only think about energy when it doesn’t work, or when we are faced with a larger bill than usual. Yet energy can do way more than light up our homes and keep us warm.
Energy can help people living in poverty to unlock their God given potential. With electricity, women can give birth safely at night, children can study in the evenings and farmers can pump water to their crops and produce more food.
Tearfund’s current campaign is petitioning the World Bank to invest in off-grid renewable energy so that people living in poverty can access electricity. We are grateful for the investments that the World Bank have already made in renewable energy, but it’s just the beginning. We want to see more energy reaching the poorest people without contributing to harmful climate change.
A brighter future
There are few people who enjoy ironing. It can be frustrating, pulling clothes over an impossibly narrow board with a hot iron balanced on the end of it. But compared to Shanti’s time consuming process of heating up a cast iron on hot coals to work on the clothes she makes, our flick of a switch reality means ironing is easy.
Thankfully, the introduction of hydropower to Shanti’s town, Tawal in central Nepal, has changed everything. Gone are the dark evenings trying to work in the flickering light of a smoky kerosene lamp. Now she can work easily at night. Bright lights help her to see the colourful clothes she is sewing, and her new electric iron speeds everything up.
The renewable energy produced by the hydropower hasn’t just made work easier for Shanti, it has provided light and more time for her children to study at home too. Just as Shanti’s business has grown, her children’s grades have improved – all thanks to renewable energy supplying electricity to their home.
The list of positive changes continues: the light from the hydropower makes is safer for women in the village to collect firewood at night. Manual labour is more efficient as power tools can be used. And communities are better connected as more people can charge their mobile phones.
Put your faith into action
Without shifting the balance towards off-grid renewable energy we will continue to see people living in darkness. If we act together we can see more people like Shanti making the most of their businesses, and children like hers reaching their God given potential. You can help bring light to dark places, without damaging God’s creation and contributing to climate change.
Father, we thank you for giving us a beautiful world to care for. Forgive us for when we waste energy and take electricity for granted. We pray that the use of renewable energy around the world will increase and we can effectively care for the people that you love and the earth you created. Amen.