Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” said Nelson Mandela. It is because of this that Enel Green Power strives to place education at the centre of its model of Creating Shared Value (CSV) every day. South Africa, the land of Madiba, is one of the best examples.
In 2015, Enel responded to the UN’s invitation by aiming for 4 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. It identified quality of education as one of the priorities of its business strategy.
Like Nelson Mandela, Enel Green Power believes that education is one of the fundamental elements for the socio-economic development of any community and that its spread represents a possibility for individual and shared growth.
Wherever Enel Green Power is present in South Africa, its goal is to create conditions that allow it to apply the creating shared value model to the fullest. This is why it has launched a series of projects focused on education, aimed at fostering the use of renewable energy, the creation of new jobs, digitalisation and fighting hunger.
To ensure the spread of clean and affordable energy, for example, it built a microgrid powered by solar energy for the Motheo TVET College.
Thanks to the new system, the school will be able to save on their electricity bills and dedicate more resources to students and teaching materials.
In the area around the Nojoli wind farm, it launched an initiative together with the NGO Liter of Light, which teaches people how to assemble and repair solar bottles, plastic bottles repurposed into LED lamps.
Thanks to the Liter of Light project, 60 teenagers built 18 Solar Bottles and 25 lights, which now light the villages around Nojoli.
For development of small and medium enterprises and creating new jobs, professional training centres have been set up in the main South African cities, for technicians specialising in the renewable energy sector.
In the first year of professional training courses, more than a thousand people participated, including 200 women.
One of its goals is to create jobs that can guarantee social equity and be a real driver of development. So, alongside technician training, Enel Green Power developed a project to assist small companies working in the renewables sector, whose managers are trained on legislative and fiscal aspects and on business management.
Digitalisation and development
Connect, interact, share. Today, digitalisation and internet access are keys to education, because they enable children and teenagers to encounter diversity, discover new realities and increase their awareness.
Alongside the construction of the Gibson Bay wind farm, its largest wind power plant in South Africa, located in the municipality of Kouga in the province of Eastern Cape, for example, a plan has been launched to provide free Wi-Fi services to schools in the area, with the installation of hotspots.
In Lephalale, a small town in the province of Limpopo, it responded to the mayor’s request, donating 20 laptops and 50 calculators to deserving students.
Energy and the fight against hunger
Roughly 12% of South African children are malnourished. And yet, hotels and restaurants in the country throw away tons of food every day.
Every day, the NGO Soul Provider is committed to using food that would otherwise be wasted and provides hot meals to the country’s indigenous populations.
Ensuring stable nutrition to children means giving them the energy needed to study, play and live their childhood.
Through Soul Project, Enel Green Power collaborates with the NGO to provide 3 500 meals a children and teenagers every week at school cafeterias.
Well-nourished children study better. The presence of a hot meal helps to lower the school dropout rate, triggering a virtuous process of creating shared value focused on education.
This article originally appeared on https://www.enelgreenpower.com/and is republished with permission