Renewable World Lifeline


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Renewable World

Presenter Gethin Jones makes an appeal on behalf of Renewable World, a charity that works in developing countries to tackle poverty through renewable energy.


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This is Nepal.

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People travel from all over to see the spectacular beauty

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of the Himalayas and experience the rich culture.

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But away from the tourist trails, Nepal is one of the poorest

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countries in the world.

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80% of people here live in rural areas and rely

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on the land for their livelihoods.

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But the harsh landscape, the lack of water

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and energy means many communities suffer from a shortage of food.

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Millions are faced with poor nutrition

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and sanitation, and only have the basic healthcare and education.

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It's a cycle of poverty that's inherited

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generation after generation.

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'I've come to meet mother of three Sumina.'

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Namaste. Hello, nice to meet you.

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Thank you.

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'She lives in a remote village in the foothills of the Himalayas.'

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She relies on crops for both food and income.

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But for nine months of the year, the land is dry.

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TRANSLATION: I couldn't grow vegetables as there was no water

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to irrigate my vegetable garden.

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It was very difficult for me to feed my family.

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I did not have enough to feed my children.

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That's because Sumina's only water source is a river

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far below her village.

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TRANSLATION: Carrying water is heavy and hard,

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so I used to get problems in my stomach.

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I would feel very tired.

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I wanted to water all the plants but I just couldn't carry enough water.

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Spending the precious little money she did have buying food

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meant her children's education suffered.

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TRANSLATION: I couldn't send my children to a good school.

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I felt sad and thought,

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"When can I give my children what they want and deserve?"

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I used to feel like crying.

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I used to feel so desperate.

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Sumina's experience is not unique.

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Millions across Nepal face the same hardships.

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Spending time with this community really hits home

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how difficult life can be without the things that we take

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for granted back home, like water and electricity.

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That's why I am appealing to you on behalf of Renewable World,

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a UK charity that works in developing countries

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to tackle poverty through renewable energy.

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Sita is 28 years old.

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She lives with her family in the Terai region of Nepal.

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Like all the women in the community, she uses wood for cooking.

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But this causes serious health problems.

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-TRANSLATION:

-We inhale smoke and ash from the fire.

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It does a lot of harm to us.

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We inhale smoke that goes to our lungs and our hearts,

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so we are often unwell.

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Every year nearly two million people, mainly women and children,

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die from indoor air pollution.

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And Sita has to collect firewood by the river every day.

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This can be extremely dangerous.

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-TRANSLATION:

-In the monsoon we try to fish for wood

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that has been swept away downstream.

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But it is too risky, because we can easily be swept away from the bank.

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Last year, two of Sita's friends were killed doing just that.

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But the women of the community have little choice.

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-TRANSLATION:

-We don't have wood to cook a meal, so we have to go.

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That's the reason why the two women took a risk and lost their lives.

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Fortunately, there is a charity that can help people like Sita.

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Renewable World works with local partners to help isolated

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communities to gain access to sustainable energy like solar,

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wind and biogas.

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These projects help improve income, education

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and healthcare for some of the most vulnerable people in the world.

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I've come to meet Nick Virr from Renewable World.

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This solar water development in the village of Tanke

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is just one of the charity's projects.

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Nick, what were the problems the community were facing here?

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This community had a lack of water,

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and that's been mainly caused by a shift in the monsoon pattern.

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And significantly, the community is a long way above

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a decent water source.

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Using solar technology, the charity lifted

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the water from a spring 60 metres uphill to the village,

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providing clean drinking water all year round.

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Once the water's available, it can also be used

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for production, and that's a really important step.

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So you can start growing cash crops, you can grow garlic,

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chillies, things that can be sold at the local market,

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and then that increases the revenue for the family

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by around 40 to 50% per annum.

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-Really, that much?

-Yes, it is, yeah.

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The charity also provides small business training.

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Well, ultimately we want to leave people with small enterprises,

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generating a sustainable source of income,

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and then consequently, you see people grow,

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and you see the confidence on their faces, and you know

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the community itself can stand on its own two feet when we leave it.

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Renewable World works with 23 rural communities across Nepal.

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They have transformed lives,

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giving people the chance to lift themselves out of poverty,

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and most importantly, take control of their own future.

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The charity installed a pump to take water from the river

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straight up to Sumina's crops.

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Look at all of these vegetables. It's amazing!

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-TRANSLATION:

-Yes, I have access to water all year round.

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I've planted potatoes, cabbages, tomatoes.

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I take vegetables to the market and sell them.

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I use the money for the children's education, food and clothing.

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The whole community are now able to grow crops thanks to the pump.

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And it's Sumina's responsibility to manage the project.

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-TRANSLATION:

-I am able to look after my family's needs.

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I feel capable, and I'm full of happiness.

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And thanks to Renewable World, Sita will no longer

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have to risk her life foraging for firewood.

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The charity has started constructing a biogas plant

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that will provide clean energy for cooking.

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TRANSLATION: No more will we have to inhale smoke.

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All we have to do is light a match

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and the gas stove is on, which is so good for us.

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The community have invested in cattle, not only to fuel the plant,

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but also to generate income.

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TRANSLATION: In the morning, buffalo milk can be sold to the dairy farm,

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so we get money.

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And this system produces a valuable by-product.

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TRANSLATION: The fertilizer that comes from the biogas plant

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will be used to grow vegetables.

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We are so pleased to get so many benefits from the project.

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Renewable World have helped over 20,000 people worldwide

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out of poverty.

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But 2.7 billion people still have no access to modern energy

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that could help transform their lives.

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And so, this is where you can make a real difference.

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Please visit the website, where you can make a donation.

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If you haven't got the internet, then call 0800 011 011.

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And if you can't get through, please, please keep trying.

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You can also donate £10 by texting DONATE to 70121.

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Texts cost £10 plus your standard network message charge,

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and the whole £10 goes to Renewable World.

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Full terms and conditions can be found at bbc.co.uk/lifeline.

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Telephone calls are free from most landlines.

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Some networks and mobile operators will charge for these calls.

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Or if you'd like to post a donation, please make your cheque payable

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to Renewable World and send it to Freepost, BBC Lifeline Appeal,

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writing "Renewable World" on the back of the envelope.

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And if you want the charity to claim Gift Aid on your donation,

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please include an e-mail or postal address

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so they can send you a Gift Aid form.

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Thank you.

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Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

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Presenter Gethin Jones makes an appeal on behalf of Renewable World, a charity that works in developing countries to tackle poverty through renewable energy. Gethin meets Sumina, who lives in a remote village in Nepal. Like many of the 80% of Nepalese who rely on the land for their livelihoods, the harsh landscape, lack of water and energy meant Sumina couldn't grow enough crops to feed her family. With very little income, Sumina struggled to provide an education and healthcare for her children. But thanks to the charity, a water pumping system was installed in Sumina's village. Not only does Sumina now have water all year round to grow vegetables to feed her family, but she is also able to provide an income by selling high value cash crops at market.