News & Insights

Light Up Hope on October 8

We hope you'll join us for this year's Business of Hope Luncheon (BOH) on October 8, which will highlight our early-stage Green Technology (GreenTech) work. Your attendance will help support our GreenTech work, which aims to connect families that live in rural, un-electrified areas, with access to affordable, renewable energy solutions, such as solar technologies.

Currently, our GreenTech initiative includes new investments in social enterprise partners in Honduras and Nicaragua; our partners have developed business models that allow rural families to purchase affordable solar solutions. Solar technologies have the potential to help increase family incomes, boost educational achievement, improve health, and reduce negative impacts on the environment.

Our BOH guest speaker, Florinda Salinas, is an example of the benefits that solar technologies can offer (her story is below). Please click here to learn more about or register for BOH. Jane Stonecipher, a GP board member and BOH event co-chair, would also like to share with you 3 reasons to attend BOH (click to watch).

Meet Florinda Salinas, this  year's featured BOH guest speaker

A pile of utility poles lay on the ground one block from Florinda Salinas’ house in rural Santo Domingo, Honduras. They have been there for months, maybe even years. Florinda explains that the poles are intended for an electrical expansion project that will connect her town to the nearest energy grid. She then laughs and says, “I will believe it when I actually see light bulbs glowing in town.” Electricity will not be coming to Santo Domingo any time soon.

Florinda charges her cellphone using her solar home system.Roughly 1.4 million people, or 40 percent, of Hondurans living in rural areas do not have access to a reliable and affordable source of electricity. This means not having enough light to work or study at night, spending limited and often unstable income on expensive and unhealthy sources of energy such as kerosene, and difficulty charging electronics like cell phones to conduct business or keep in touch with loved ones. Through hard work, Florinda qualified to receive a loan to buy a solar home system through Global Partnerships’ (GP) partner, COMIXMUL, a cooperative that provides women with savings and credit products and access to health services/education and green technologies.

Florinda and her husband Oscar can now weave hammocks after dusk using solar-powered lights.

With the solar home system, Florinda and her husband Oscar save money on kerosene costs and can continue weaving hammocks after dusk; the Salinas’ hammock business is their main source of income, so maximizing work hours is critical. They can also charge their cell phone, which they use to communicate with their wholesale hammock buyer and keep in touch with their eldest son, who is studying on scholarship in Tegucigalpa, a city over 100 miles away.

Florinda's son studies in school.Additionally, their younger sons, Edras (8), Edson (10), Lester (15) and Eric (17) can now study under bright solar powered lights. Florinda, who only attended school until the sixth grade, is certain that education is the key to her sons’ success. “I want my kids to become professionals. I don’t want them making hammocks. I want a better life for them,” and having the solar home system helps light the way forward.

Blog Tags: BOH   Business of Hope   energy poverty   last mile challenge   solar energy   solar light   solar technology   

A woman uses a kerosene lamp.
Over 1 billion people worldwide lack access to affordable sources of energy. Many rely on antiquated energy solutions, such as kerosene lamps that emit acrid black smoke (bad for health and the environment) and are expensive to maintain. Photo © Global Partnerships 2013

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