Albero della Vita

Location: India

Fondazione Albero della Vita (“FADV”) works to implement effective actions to protect children, as well as to safeguard and promote the rights of children and young adults to grow up in a safe and suitable environment. It does this by strengthening children and young adults’ resilience through two main areas of intervention: (1) climate change and disaster risk reduction and (2) protection from all forms of violence.

In the last years, FADV has been undertaking comprehensive educational programmes in India to support children holistically and reduce school drop put rates. Education is an essential element of the global response to climate change: it helps people to understand and address the impact of global warming; increases climate literacy among young people; encourages changes in their attitudes and behaviour; and, helps them adapt to climate change related trends. Since 2009, FADV has been working with local partners to run learning centres across West Bengal and Assam.

FADV’s approach aims at promoting a higher awareness of children and adults at 3 different levels: individual, community and collective. As part of it education projects, FADV runs learning centres, although they lack proper electric power supply. The learning centres often experience power-cuts of at least 10 hours per day, and usually during school hours; productivity is considerably lowered due to the unreliability of energy access. Furthermore, FADV is trying to teach students about renewable energy importance and possibilities, climate change and sustainable development.

NextEnergy Foundation is fully funding the installation of a solar systems on FADV’s learning centres which will ensure that children’s education as well as capacity building activities for staff and parents are not interrupted by frequent power cuts.

January 2022 Update: The project has now completed. The Foundation fully funded the installation of eight solar systems (each 12.5kWp) on seven of FADV’s Learning Centres and their Farmer’s Resource Centre in the Sundarbans, India. The objective of the initiative was to support children and their families to have uninterrupted education and safe drinking water during monsoons, floods and cyclones through sustainable and renewable energy. Community members at each centre were trained to manage the solar systems. Overall, almost 1,250 children are benefiting from the installations.

Location: India

In 2021, NextEnergy Foundation fully funded the installation of eight solar systems (each 12.5kWp) on seven of FADV’s Learning Centres and their Farmer’s Resource Centre in the Sundarbans, India.

Following the success of this work, the NextEnergy Foundation has funded the installation of solar systems on the remainder of FADV’s Learning Centres. In total, 40 Centres will have first time access to renewable energy.  

September 2023 Update: The installations have now completed and key impacts are below:

  • Direct beneficiaries: 6,600
  • Indirect beneficiaries: 24,300 people, including the students’ families; members of the Centre Management Committees; teachers and school staff; local authorities; and, wider community members, all with access to services run by the Centres
  • Female students: 51%
  • School attendance: Raised from 50% to 90%
  • Installations: 198 people involved
  • Operation and Management: 80 people trained
  • Energy savings:35% energy expenses
  • CO2 displaced: 33 tonnes CO2e displaced to date

Transforming FADV’s Centres has not only involved the physical installation of the solar systems, but also the alteration of the Centres’ ethos and governance structures towards the promotion of sustainable development. As part of the project, FADV has organised ‘education for sustainable development’ days in accordance with the Targets for UN SDG 13 (Climate Action).

July 2024 Updates: one year has passed since the installation of the solar power lighting system in schools and community centers. Local community, mostly local farmers and their families benefited through many different aspects of their everyday lives:

  • The schools receive sustainable energy free of cost, thus reducing maintenance expenses.
  • The system provides uninterrupted power supply, especially during summer, rainy seasons, and disasters. It was particularly beneficial during Severe Cyclone Remal in May 2024, when some learning centers were used as evacuation shelters.
  • The intervention is ensuring the supply of safe drinking water, even during disasters, as the water pump functions also during power cuts.
  • The system supports various community activities, including training for self-help groups, farmers, Learning Centers Management Committee, and school management committees.
  • The intervention allows the attendance of evening classes, extra sessions for older children, recreational sessions, teachers’ training, and vocational training for children’s mothers and for Day Care Center for disable children.
  • The intervention has increased safety for children and adolescent girls, protecting them from snake and insect bites and making it safer to access toilet facilities, especially in the centers in the Sundarbans.

From September 2023 update, more positive impacts have been produced by the project:

  • Total beneficiaries: 31,221
  • People trained in the Operation and Management of the system raised to 128 (60% increase)

In its first year of functioning, the solar systems installed in FADV’s Learning Centres realized:

  • Total annual additional hours of study enabled: 6,335,040 (over 6,600 students population)
  • Total CO2 displaced: 70.8 tonnes
  • Increase of average students’ performance (average grade Y6 equivalent): 20%
  • Annual savings of average school energy expenses:4%