The Branch Foundation plans to provide every family in a refugee camp of 600 residents in Thailand with solar lighting as they are prohibited from receiving electricity from the main grid system. This will ensure sustainable and environmentally friendly power for vulnerable people. The residents previously had to rely on kerosene lamps and candles which posed fire risks in their thatched houses, was an expensive form of lighting and prevented children from completing their studies at night.
As this refugee camp is not officially recognized by the United Nations, although the residents have fled human rights abuses in Burma, they are not allowed to receive electricity from the main grid. The kerosene lamps and candles which are being used by families in the camp cause fire hazards in their thatched houses and provide an inefficient and expensive form of lighting. All residents will benefit from a solution to this problem especially children who cannot continue studying after dusk.
By providing solar energy as an alternative to kerosene lamps and candles we will enable increased safety within the camp, allow children to continue their studies after dark and save families limited money as they will have a free source of power. Not only is this solution effective for the problems previously mentioned but also builds on environmentally friendly awareness in the community, sustainable energy and removes reliance on further aid thus in turn empowering the residence.
The Branch Foundation has a long standing relationship with the Refugee Camp, and have worked along with the community on alternative energy projects including providing solar panels to a proportion of families in the community. This project is designed to complete our joint ethos of a cleaner and greener future for the 600 residents in the camp. The solar panels will provide a long term energy solution and we expect education standards to increase as well as fire risks to be reduced.