PRP is pleased to be highlighting Portland based non-profit Green Empowerment as part of our Community Voices segment this week.
Green Empowerment was founded in 1997 and is working to provide projects around the world that deliver clean water and produce electricity for residents, businesses, and the community at large in the areas they serve. These renewable energy projects utilize hydroelectric power, biomass, biogas, wind and solar. All of these technologies are designed, built and maintained locally.
The organization was conceived by “like-minded social justice activists, environmentalists and internationalists” in order to, literally, change the world. According to its mission, the group strives to “support people in their effort to live free of poverty, oppression, and exploitation,” to “promote strategies for improving human well-being that simultaneously restore and protect local ecosystems, mitigate carbon emissions, and help communities adapt to climate change,” and to “encourage in-country leadership to take responsibility for their own decisions and manage their own resources.”
This week we hear from four members of Green Empowerment: Miel Hendrickson, Executive Director, who brings extensive international and development experience, having lived on six continents and traveled to sixty countries; Richard Brenner, a long time board member who has encouraged philanthropy in his own family; Dan Van’t Hoff, the organization’s first staff member in Kenya; and Dexter Gauntlett, who started as an intern at Green Empowerment over ten years ago.
Green Empowerment focuses on the collective impact of small changes, one encounter, one neighborhood, one village at a time. “One fresh water or clean energy delivery system may be small on a global scale, but to the 900 hundred people who have clean water, to the women who no longer have to get up at 4 am to walk to the nearest clean water source, and the children who can play soccer instead of playing Sherpa, it means the world.”