Volunteer Efforts Offer New Hope
Volunteer Efforts Offer New Hope
CAMPAIGN: Community Investment at Enbridge
Dave Yadav tells a compelling story about why he joined nine Enbridge colleagues on an expedition to rural Peru. They volunteered for two weeks on an Enbridge volunteer assignment with energy4everyone Foundation (e4e) and partner organization, Light Up The World (LUTW).
“It wasn’t a vacation, by any stretch,” says Dave, a world traveller and part of the Training and Development group at Enbridge.
The 10 journeyed into the Andes over rough mountainous roads to install solar panels in 32 homes in one of the country’s poorest regions. Until then many of the villagers near Pomacocha and Pampachiri lived without electricity, along with about 25 per cent of humanity. They relied on fire, kerosene lamps, flashlights or candles for light – all inefficient and expensive light sources.
At the Enbridge group’s inn – the only one in town – they had rustic accommodations, but enjoyed most of the amenities North Americans expect. Many people in outlying communities live in smoky one-room adobe huts with no electricity or indoor plumbing.
According to the United Nations Development Programme “energy is central to the sustainable development and poverty reduction effort. It affects all aspects of development – social, economic, and environmental...” Specifically the agency mentions how safe, reliable access to energy affects infant mortality, life expectancy and educational opportunities.
e4e was conceived by former Enbridge CEO Pat Daniel to improve access to energy in communities in Africa and Latin America as a way to tackle poverty. The Enbridge volunteers are on the frontlines of that effort.
“We are changing these people’s lives in a meaningful way,” says Dave.
The experience not only changes the lives of the Andean residents who don’t have access to electricity. e4e performs double duty by raising awareness among people in developed nations – like the Enbridge volunteers – about the positive impact of energy in addressing poverty.
A personal perspective
Dave understands from his own history how access to energy dictates how well people live and how not having it contributes to the cycle of poverty.
His father grew up in rural India, where his family made sacrifices to be able to send him to school. They scrimped to afford kerosene to provide light for Dave’s dad to study in the evening.
“As a result of that small investment, he graduated from medical school, taught medicine at Queen’s University and became a successful surgeon and positive role model to many in Calgary.” Two generations later many others continue to benefit from the assistance he received early in his life.
“Here I am, living in Canada, a beneficiary of my grandparents’ understanding of the value of energy,” Dave says. A passionate advocate of giving back to the global community, he wants do his part to improve the lives of others, particularly children and families. Dave has worked with The Rotary to eradicate polio and hosted international exchange students in his home.
“The kids in South America, Africa or Asia live in a different world. They should have every right to have the opportunities that kids in North America have,” he states.
To read more on Dave’s experience in Peru, click here.