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Starting a community-based organization in the midst of a global crisis is not easy, but our vision for inclusive economic development that protects health and the environment is more relevant than ever.
The COVID pandemic has disrupted MPL - a community energy champion and non profit social enterprise designed to self sustain our programs. We submitted our registration to Guatemala to formalize our small nonprofit on February 1, 2020 - weeks before the shut down that delayed our ability to fully operate for over 8 months. Now at the end of the year, we are holding on by a thread - awaiting funds from Rotary International to mobilize our distribution program for solar power, water filters and clean cookstoves.
During COVID-19, travel bans required that our staff work from home forcing us to adjust programs for the short term: with emergency donations, we delivered 319 solar lamps and 100 water filters through our community partners. However, we were stalled from setting up our full distribution program and solar installations - essential income streams for MPL.
Clean technologies at home are more important than ever during COVID. The Guatemalan government took COVID seriously and issued stringent lockdowns. While this has managed transmission rates, children are studying from home and families are suffering economically. We adapted our clean technology distribution program to COVID conditions, utilizing local networks for group purchases and courier services to reduce travel and physical contact.
To keep our services rolling in 2021, we successfully raised $42,000 to bring an urgent shipment of solar power kits to provide affordable lighting options to rural people past the last mile. This project will reach thousands of people with clean lighting next year, while also creating a revolving fund for MPL to continue distributing solar power long term.
Rosy Ordoñez, MPL’s first solar businesswoman and mentor, will help train new entrepreneurs and distribute solar past the last mile. Your support will allow Rosy, an experienced solar power promoter, to continue spreading awareness about solar power in indigenous communities.