HOPE community group continues to invest in nation’s youth

Herman Shim from the Caribbean Maritime University instructing students on how to assemble LED lights

by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada

  • Hope (Helping Other People Excel) community group has embarked on “Energy efficiency in lighting assembly” to empower youth 
  • 24 young people including women will be trained in new LED technology

Apart from their philanthropic support towards victims of a disaster or less fortunate, Hope (Helping Other People Excel) community group has embarked on another project aimed at empowering the youth population in rural communities. The project dubbed “Energy efficiency in lighting assembly” seeks to improve the livelihood of unemployed young people as well as reduce Grenada’s reliance on fossil fuel through the use of LED lights.

According to statistics lighting accounts for nearly 6% of global CO2 emission, and a switch to energy efficient Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology could save over 1,400 million tons of CO2. Hope community group was able to secure grant funding of US$19,000 from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grant Programme and has solicited the assistance of researcher in Renewable Energy Technology, Herman Shim from the Caribbean Maritime University in Jamaica.

Vice President/PRO of Hope Curllan Bhola said this move to empower young people is unprecedented. He said 24 young people including women will be trained in new technology to teach to assemble LED lights, with a select few being able to design LED light bulbs. “It’s a livelihood project that we increase the availability of LED lights as well as train young people to assemble and design the technologies. It has a climate impact because the more energy efficient we are, the less carbon is produced because you require less – and from a social standpoint you are taking these people who are vulnerable and putting them into a productive sector that can be quite profitable.”

Bhola said additional funding will be sought after to construct a LED industry in Grenada. “We have applied to BNTF additional funding to start a LED industry in Grenada where the same young people trained can manufacture LED lights from recycled materials that can be resold, and that industry will be able to take waste from light bulbs reuse them, therefore, decreasing the amount of waste in our landfill.

Shim will be conducting the training and spoke of how the project will unfold. “We will be here for a week and there are two stages of the training. The first level we will teach them how to assemble the units and basic production and the second level will take the advanced students and they will be able to design solutions. My assistant and I will be testing throughout the training course which is more than 70 % hands-on with some theory involved, and when all of them pass their scores will be recorded at the Caribbean Maritime University CMU for the presentation of certificates.”

Shim says the government needs to get involved in this project as the success rate of this project is better achieved through a public-private partnership arrangement. “The project is currently being rolled out in Jamaica through a public-private partnership arrangement, and what we found is that we had a better than 90% pass rate and I am hoping in Grenada that we have a 100% pass rate. My recommendation is that a public-private partnership arrangement will have far more impact.”

Participant working on LED light

The main objective of this project is to create alternative livelihoods for the young community who are facing unemployment and threats to traditional livelihoods due to climate change and is poised to meet 5 of the 17 sustainable development goals.

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