This story ends with an invitation: to sign the ONE Campaign petition to support the Electrify Africa Act. Ready now? Scroll to the bottom of this post. Want to know more? Read on.
When I travel, my assumptions get blown wide open. Observing the habits and realities of people living in different circumstances changes my definition of “normal” and “necessary.”
We just got back from a visit to Greece. We happened to be there as the Greek financial crisis came to a head. To watch people anxiously waiting in ATM lines to withdraw whatever cash they could made me realize how I take the security of and access to my money for granted.
Something else I take for granted: electricity. I barely notice its constant availability. The lights always turn on, the appliances always work. When they don’t, it’s a fun occasion to light candles and play hide-and-seek. I know the lights will come on again soon enough.
589 million people in sub-Saharan Africa — 68% of the population — have no electricity.
Reliable access to electricity is a huge part of reducing extreme poverty. With electricity:
- Food stays refrigerated that would otherwise rot in the heat.
- Vaccines and medications remain viable that would otherwise spoil without temperature control.
- Hospital equipment operates.
- Lighting enables children to study, businesses to run, and doctors to treat patients after sundown.
- Safe, clean cooking and lighting reduces deadly kerosene-fueled housefires and toxic smoke.
At no cost to US taxpayers, the Electrify Africa Act will bring electricity to 50 million Africans for the first time – with a focus on rural and under-served areas.
The thing is…the act needs to pass both the House and the Senate. This is far from guaranteed, so it’s time to speak up NOW.
Sign the ONE petition by filling in the yellow box below. You’ll add your voice to the tens of thousands who’ve already signed…and you’ll have done your part to bring light to those who need it most.
ONE will never ask for your money — only your voice. Want to know more about #ElectrifyAfrica? Visit ONE.org. Want to DO more? Share this post, or post your own light-filled image on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook with the tag #ElectrifyAfrica and #LightForLight, along with this link to the ONE petition:
Let’s start an avalanche of light! Tomorrow, Leticia Barr will share her light-filled post. — Asha