ECHOPPE continues to innovate - to find new ways of introducing hope into villages. Without hope; without knowledge that tomorrow will be better, it is often difficult for youth to stay in villages or in Africa. The "lights" of the cities, the desire for stability, improved economic and living conditions and the hope that their children will not have to suffer hunger, illness and risk of death are all reasons that many want to leave the difficult conditions of country living today. Working with the small farmers, making life in the African bush a place of hope, stability, and economic growth is important. Providing some amenities of urban life too is important. ECHOPPE is working with Engineers without Borders in the introduction of solar energy into villages. Lighting up the evenings so that students can study, charging cell phone batteries, or watching an important football match are all reasons for needing some form of electrical energy. The energy could turn a grinding mill or conserves food stuffs for later sales. It is an economy against the use of fuel for lamps or the investment into flashlight batteries (and a way to avoid the pollution from used batteries). By funding this program in order to provide electricity loans to farmers, we hope that we can help improve local conditions and again, slow the rural exodus.
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