The Grid Earth Project, a US-based charity www.gridearth.org, returned to San Mateo recently to distribute solar powered LED lamps donated by the NW Rotary Club of Austin, Texas. The project visited San Mateo previously and distributed solar lamps to the children in San Mateo, however, the need was so overwhelming that the Grid Earth Project vowed to return to San Mateo with twice as many lamps.
It is the mission of the Grid Earth Project to save lives, and improve health, educational and economic opportunities for those less fortunate. Millions of people die worldwide each year as a result of kerosene lamps, open flames and other alternate sources of household light. The Grid Earth Project replaces these with solar powered LED lamps.
Audrey Cochran of Grid Earth Project distibutes solar lamps in San Mateo Area
The lamps are bright enough to read and study, as well to perform work that requires bright light. They also have a low setting that will last all night. These lamps do not heat up, so they can not cause fire. They do not emit toxic fumes, so there is no danger from respiratory illness. Besides the safety and health improvements, these solar powered LED lamps are also very cost effective. One rechargeable battery is all that needs to be replaced every 1½ - 2 years depending on usage. This is a fraction of the cost of kerosene and candles and will allow families to fuel money for education, commerce and other worthwhile pursuits. It is a project meant to break the “cycle of poverty”.
The Grid Earth Project converted their first village, Bomba, in 2012 and has since converted many more villages in Belize from kerosene light to solar light. “It is our hope to see all of the families in Belize that are currently using kerosene converted to solar light,” stated Audrey Cochran, Executive Director of the Grid Earth Project.
The Grid Earth Project also coordinates with other service organizations and mission groups to provide these solar lamps for projects that are being conducted in many other counties around the world. According to Ms. Cochran, “Belize is our adopted home and we just love the people here. That is why we always prefer to distribute the lamps here personally.”
The Grid Earth Project would like to thank the following for their assistance in this effort:
The San Pedro Town Council
Chris and Jo Beaumont and staff of The Palms Hotel, San Pedro
Mr. Rene Pennell at the Ministry of Finance
San Pedro Councilor Kenrick Brackett
Grid Earth distributes solar powered lights to the San Mateo area in San Pedro, Belize