Navajo Solar Project - 2016
This is extracted from an email sent by project Coordinator Pat Crane
I've just returned from the Navajo Reservation and another successful set of solar light installations. Roger Allen and Molly McCallum joined us from La Pine, OR. Our extended team included No Borders Rotaract Club President Cheyanne Rico and member Julia Ribeiro along with OSU Rotaract Member Liz Wells. (Photos available on their website) We had about 25 volunteers sleeping on the floor of the Nageezi Chapter House gymnasium and working through some trying situations to accomplish our goal of over 20 remote homesites illuminated with solar lighting kits. Living for a while on "Navajo Time" never fails to yield a flock of stories and adventures!
Our project is "morphing" from a simple model whereby Rotarians purchased lights, selected recipients and performed the installations to a much more empowered model. The Navajo leaders now select all the recipients, share the funding of our project, select our native guides to minimize language barriers and accomplish some installations on their own with guidance and inspection from the Rotary team. We plan to expand our outreach via gardening ( a 40 by 200 foot garden was begun this past weekend), computer training, empowerment exercises and a host of other vital projects on this impoverished reservation.
The support of our e-club, both financially and with feet-on-the-ground, has been an essential ingredient in the formation and development of this project. As the project coordinator for our e-club, I have found the Durango leadership team to be energetic, committed and willing to listen to all our inputs at all times.