Solar and Clean Water in the Congo

THE PROJECT

Helping bring clean energy and clean water to victims of rapes and other atrocities in the Democratic Republic of Congo, while raising awareness about the violence from armed factions battling over rare earth minerals mined in the region for use in making our cell phones and electronics.

OUR PARTICIPATION

Writer, activist and V-Day founder Eve Ensler staged a reading of a play entitled "OPC" to benefit Global Green and we dedicated funds raised to help green the City of Joy, a sanctuary built by V-Day in support of the women whose lives were destroyed in the conflict in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

WHAT WE'RE DOING

Solar Power: With our partners at SunPower Foundation, Global Green is making donation of a solar system to allow women in the City of Joy to reduce their dependency on diesel generators and the unreliable grid -- creating a healthier and more secure community. Following Matt Petersen's first visit to the City of Joy, Global Green also donated 20 goats for the Green Mommas, an all-female cooperative farm.

In August 2012, Matt returned to the City of Joy with volunteers to successfully install the donated solar system and work with a local electrician to help improve his capacity and experience to install future solar systems. The solar donation was made possible by an outpouring of generosity that included donations of solar panels from the SunPower Foundation; inverters from Solartechnik Stiens; batteries from Trojan Battery Company; and grants from the 11th Hour Project and the COINS Foundation. 

Clean Water: We are also helping the women in the City of Joy face another challenge: access to clean water. Women in this region tasked with transporting clean drinking water often use gasoline containers carried on tops of their heads for long distances, both contaminating the water and putting them at risk for neck and back injuries. We are bringing with us WaterWear backpacks to help women of the Congo safely carry drinking water. We are also raising funds for the purchase and installation of a complete drinking water filtration system for a well in their village.

Legislation: We have sponsored legislation in California to support human rights and the environment. SB 1427 was authored by Senator Kevin de Leon and would have reduced the cost of electronics goods to the State of California by creating a preference for lower priced, refurbished electronics. By reducing the amount of conflict minerals in our new electronics, we can help to slow the conflict mineral trade -- so armed factions can no longer profit and destroy the lives of women and girls in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Unfortunately, the bill was killed by the electronics industry. We intend to re-introduce the legislation next year.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

With your support, we can deliver solar LED lights and water backpacks to the City of Joy -- and purchase and install a complete water filtration system for a well in their village. Help us now by donating: sponsor a WaterWear Backpack for $10 to help the women of the Congo safely carry clean drinking water; sponsor a solar LED light for $25 to help the women of the Congo read at night and increase their safety; or donate $500 or more toward a solar-powered permanent clean water solution for City of Joy (our fundraising goal for the water system: $10,000).

MORE ABOUT OUR WORK

Matt Petersen's blog post on his August 2012 visit to the City of Joy.

Matt Petersen's blog post on his 2011 visit to the City of Joy.

Matt Petersen's TEDxWomen talk about his involvement with the City of Joy and how his first visit inspired him.