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LUTW Winter Newsletter: January 2011

In This Issue
Ocean Pollution
Join us Online
Project Updates
Power of a Few
2011 Solar Home Competition
Employee Profile
Regional Office Update
Project Profile: LUC
Partner Profile: MMC
Upcoming Events
The Ocean's 25 deadliest pollution predators

Take a look at the following list of notorious ocean bound pollutants and then consider what you can personally do to curb the amount of waste your household generates (as well as how to ramp up your recycling efforts).
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Join Our Mailing List
Join Us Online
2010 4th Quarter Project Update
In Papua New Guinea (PNG) our partner, AT Projects, coordinated the installation of 49 solar systems in 29 rural health centres from October to December bringing the total number of facilities that have received solar lighting systems to 224. These 224 health centres collectively have improved the conditions under which health care is delivered for more than 580,000 people in remote parts of the country.

In Costa Rica, one of our project partners, ACEM, completed the installation of 50 systems that began in August 2010 and received 104 portable solar LED lights to provide to households in the Talamanca region. The fair trade co-operative, APPTA, installed 25 solar lighting systems in homes in the same region.

LUTW staff have been busy developing plans with partner organizations for renewable energy projects in Peru, Guatemala, Tanzania and Ecuador early this year. 
Subsidy Program Update
Solar lighting equipment was provided to organizations at subsidized costs in the following countries for non-profit renewable energy programs:
- Ghana
- Haiti
- Kenya
- Sierra Leone
- Solomon Islands

Over the last quarter we provided guidance to 23 organizations in 17 countries in order to help them develop their own plans for renewable energy projects. We believe that by sharing our project experience we can help others to learn how to deliver high quality renewable energy projects that have the greatest possible impact on the beneficiary community.

Education Program Update
The Holiday Open House featured guest speakers that spoke about sustainable design, renewable energy alternatives and using LED's for development: 74 people attended the five presentations.

Our Program Director facilitated workshops for youth on small solar PV systems: 16 youth from EP Scarlett's Light Up The World Club participated in the workshops. 

Event Update
We were represented at the Light Up Papua New Guinea Fundraiser Gala held in Charlottetown, PEI, the Christmas Party for the Young Environmental Professionals of Calgary, and the Sun Fair at Our Lady of Peace school. 
The Power of a Few
Some world issues can be overwhelming, depressing, and almost traumatizing. At times we may feel powerless to make a difference.

Author Linda McQuaig suggests that helplessness is exactly what some large institutions want us to feel, so that they can get away with solutions that are more to their interests than ours. She encourages us to take more personal responsibility for global sustainability challenges. Follow the link below to learn about capitalizing on our ripple effect.

Learn how our own steps can lead to big change.
2011 Solar Home Competition
Calgary team represents Canada in designing a net-zero First Nations home

A group of University of Calgary students will form the only Canadian team in the prestigious 2011 Solar Decathlon competition, hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy and the national Renewable Energy Laboratory.

The team has designed a solar-powered home specifically for the First Nations communities of Southern Alberta. The house features a distinct Aboriginal style and will produce at least as much energy than it consumes, making it 'net-zero'. The design also targets chronic health and durability issues and has been a highly collaborative process between students, First Nations and industry.

Read more about it.

The final quarter of 2010 has been very busy and productive for LUTW. We have laid the foundations for our first regional office with the NGO registration in Peru nearing completion. Our team in Peru have been busy assessing project locations and preparing for the first renewable energy project in the remote village of Chayansa which you can reaExterior office lightsd more about below. In Canada, we put in an off-grid solar powered LED light display and held our first annual Holiday Open House where we hosted a number of presentations and educational events on sustainability, renewable energy and energy efficiency. We would like to thank the sponsors, speakers and everyone that attended the Open House events.   

Moving forward, the New Year brings with it many exciting opportunities. Project staff are working on final preparations for the Shuar renewable energy project in Ecuador which will take place in March. Our team in Peru is completing the pre-feasibility work in a number of villages, which will turn into projects in the first months of this year.  We will carry out a feasibility assessment in Costa Rica in March and then work with partners to install systems in remote communities in the Northern highlands of Guatemala. We continue to support our project partners working to bring light to rural health centres throughout Papua New Guinea to improve conditions for health care. Each of these projects will continue to help enhance health and safety, foster local education, help to develop economic infrastructure, and protect our natural environment by reducing dependence on harmful, carbon based fuels.

All in all, we are looking forward to a productive first quarter of 2011 and as always we want to thank our many donors and supporters who continue to make our work possible.

Michael Fark
Featured Employee: Tara Collins 
In her role as Director of Fund Development at LUTW, Tara works to develop partnerships and gather support from donors, foundationsTara Collins, as well as establish and expand fundraising campaigns. Joining LUTW in 2008, her work with the organization has also included field work on solar installation projects in Sierra Leone and Nepal here she experienced the substantial impact LUTW's work has on the recipients. Tara holds an honours degree in International Development Studies from the University of Calgary and was drawn to LUTW because of the organisations strong commitment to community service and sustainability. 

Prior to joining LUTW, Tara led applied research projects in Aboriginal communities related to traditional land use and cultural resource management and worked with subsistence farmers as a field officer with IDE Zambia. Her passion for exploring the cultural and ecological diversity of the planet has led her around the world for both work and travel.
Regional Office Update
Since the last newsletter, we have made huge strides in establishing LUTW in Peru.  After all the introductions, meetings, presentations, informative exchanges and plenty of time spent on public transit getting from place to place (the traffic in Lima is confounding), we feel encouraged and have met a lot of wonderful people.  There are incredible gaps in the provision of basic services for people living in isolated, remote and rural areas of Peru and LUTW has been investigating how to reach these areas with our programs.  The potential use of solar energy in Peru is enormous in the rainforest and mountains, however getting to these areas and coordinating with local organizations is the hard part!  We have some great leads on potential project areas and corresponding organizations to work with.  We are incredibly pleased to announce our first project, Light Up Chayansa (LUC), which you can read more about in the Project Profile. Keep watching this space for more news about our South American projects, partners and ceviche!
Holiday Open-House

This year we hosted our inaugral Holiday Open House and "Lit up the Neighborhood" by setting up a solar powered LED Holiday lighting display  at our office to demonstrate the power and potential of renewable energy. Approximately 150 people attended the Open House events which included solar workshops and a number of presentations on sustainability, renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Hut with Candle

One of the biggest hits was our 'hut' which we created as a representative home from the areas where we work. By first using candles, and then our home lighting system, we effectively demonstrated the power of the simple, yet brilliant, systems we install. 

LUTW Office

We would like to thank our speakers and our sponsors for their support: we could not have done it without you and everything you have done is greatly appreciated. You can check out our Events Page to learn more about the people and organizations who supported us in this endeavour.  You can also check out our Photo Album for more pictures.    

Project Profile: Light Up Chayansa!Chayansa home

Chayansa is a small community of 39 households (approximately 200 people) located high in the altiplano of Peru (4400m above sea level) in the province of Apurimac.  The main economic activity for this community is raising animals (llama, alpaca, some cows and sheep) and due to the rugged terrain, not much else.  There is a collective spirit in this community which is reflected in their shared animal husbandry practices, ideas for development and a newly built community centre. 

Basic services are lacking in this community (latrines, waste management, potable water, electricity) and LUTW is working with local NGO Kuyacc Ayni to improve access to energy and lighting in the area.  A community study and sensitization meetings have been completed and in January, we will be training technicians in the community and installing solar lighting systems in 34 homes and the community centre.


To meet their portable lighting needs of this this pastoral farming community, LUTW has also designed a rechargeable battery charging system that will be installed in the community centre. This system should further decrease their use of disposable alkaline batteries, saving families money and reducing the number of throw-away batteries that contaminate the land.

Donate now green

Partner Profile: Medical Mercy Canada
Medical Mercy Canada Society (MMC) is a registered, non-government, non-religious, charitable organization.  It provides medical supplies, education, support and supplies to Burmese refugees in Thailand, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and to impoverished Ukrainian villagThailand Orphanageers.  Dr. Myron Semkuley and his wife Elaine founded MMC: they share a deep intrinsic value of philanthropy, and together they make a commitment to help underprivileged individuals in areas of the world where care is not locally sustained. 

Last year MMC took three solar lighting systems to northern Thailand near the Myanmar (Burma) border where they are helping to build orphanages and dormitories in a refugee camp. The first dormitory was built for about 55 boys. A smaller girl's dormitory, for about 25, was completed last year and this year MMC is arranging for construction of a smaller boy's and teacher's dormitory. 

The only electricity for this school is from generators running from sundown to about 9-10pm. MMC started looking for lights after a little boy suffered a burned leg from a candThailand installationle on a trip to the toilet. The three lighting systems from 2010 were installed in a large girl's dormitory and MMC and the residents were very impressed with how well this system works for them. 

This year MMC took three more solar lighting kits from LUTW to do the same in a smaller boy's dormitory. Although difficult for the children to live in this situation, they are very thankful for the safe and educational environment. LUTW is proud to support MMC and the people they serve by supplying solar lighting systems at a low-cost .
Upcoming Events

SPIE Photonics West
LUTW staff from the Calgary office will be in attendance  at SPIE Photonics West January 22-27, 2011 in San Francisco, California. SPIE Photonics West, the world's largest international event encompassing industrial and medical applications of optics, lasers, and photonics. Approximately 18,000 attendees are expected to convene in technical sessions, industry panels, two exhibitions, and other events covering advances in medical therapeutics and diagnostics, semiconductor, gas, fiber, and diode lasers, micro/nanofabrication, MEMs, optoelectronic materials and devices, displays, communications, and related topics.

Electrical Contractors Assc of Ontario Industry Conference 2011

LUTW will be presenting at the ECAO's Industry Conference in Costa Rica on March 21st. LUTW will be speaking about Solar PV projects in Costa Rica. The conference will be held at the JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort and Spa, Guanacaste Costa Rica.

Thank you for your support! Because of your commitment, we can continue our mission of improving the quality of life for people without access to electricity.

Your backing assists us in empowering people in need by providing access to renewable energy and lighting. You are a necessary component of our efforts to enhance health and safety, foster local education, help to develop economic infrastructure, and protect the environment by reducing dependence on harmful, carbon based fuels. On behalf of our partners and the communities with whom we work, thank you!

The LUTW Team
Light Up the World