Burmese refugees score bright future with solar power

Written by Faith PR


solar

Leading energy management and supply company Kinect Energy Group is funding a renewable energy project that will transform the lives of hundreds of Burmese refugees living on a landfill site in Thailand.

The refugee community centre known as the Green Island, based in Mae Sot, Thailand, is situated in the centre of a landfill site where approximately 500 refugee families are settled. The Green Island offers underprivileged communities access to education and sporting facilities to generate a brighter future.

Created by not-for-profit organization PlayOnside in February 2019, the Green Island comprises a spacious community centre with fully equipped kitchen and a large football pitch. The aim is to unite Mae Sot’s ethnically, culturally and socially diverse communities through participation in football festivals and integration tournaments. Children are given an opportunity to play and form friendships regardless of their background.

Unstable and inadequate access to electricity forced the local community in Mae Sot to rely on natural light, which restricted access to the Green Island.

Partnering with PlayOnside, Kinect Energy Group, which operates in 25 countries, agreed to fund the installation of solar panels to provide around-the clock power to the Green Island project, set to be installed in fourth quarter of 2019. Following the installation, the refugees will have access to a sustainable electricity supply that is 100% renewable, meaning grid energy in the area will not be impacted.

Bringing a sustainable electricity source to the Green Island will bring benefits far beyond playing football. Electricity will provide refugee children with unlimited access to education opportunities within the community centre, freshly prepared food and a safe environment to socialise and make friends through the football tournaments organised by Play Onside.

Power will also be supplied to streetlights surrounding the Green Island, increasing safety and visibility at night. The solar panels will be installed by Htoot Htoot, who has been helping communities along the Thai/ Burmese border gain access to renewable energy and sustainable water filtration for seven years.

In remote locations such as Mae Sot, the harsh terrain and lack of a road network makes solar power the most appropriate and effective method of providing energy. Kinect Energy has been supporting and funding renewable energy projects in remote, off-grid areas for several years, through its renewable energy sourcing platform Track my Electricity™.

Track my Electricity™ enables businesses to not only significantly reduce their organisational footprint by sourcing 100% renewable energy, but also support vulnerable communities in combating energy poverty in developing countries.  Recent projects include the installation of solar panels for four schools in Karen State on the Thai-Burmese border, a community of alpaca farmers in Peru and three communities near Surkhet in Nepal affected by severe flooding.

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