A Reflection on International Women’s Day

By: Kristen Grauer, Green Empowerment Development Manager

Over the last twenty years, Green Empowerment has thrived thanks, in no small part, to the exemplary leadership, determination and compassion of women. From Portland, to Malaysia, to Nicaragua and beyond, female leaders are essential to our organization’s success.Our women have a holistic vision and champion our efforts to deliver renewable energy and safe water through inclusive decision-making, education and environmental advocacy. In times of adversity, they demonstrate great resilience, integrity and an unwillingness to compromise our organization’s values. They demand to be heard and encourage other women to bring their voices, ideas and experiences to the table. They inspire our team and the communities that we support, every day. On this day, International Women’s Day, we would like to recognize six women in the Green Empowerment family who always lead by example.

Andrea Johnson, Executive Director, Green Empowerment – United States

Andrea is a passionate leader and a strong believer in Green Empowerment’s mission and approach. She works fervently to advance the organization’s core values and support our team and partners. Last May she visited our projects in the Philippines and Malaysian Borneo with our board members. She was able to share the experience with her daughter, Juniper, the next generation.

Learn more about Andrea’s work at: www.greenempowerment.org 

Anne Lasimbang, Executive Director, PACOS Trust – Malaysia

Anne is the Executive Director of PACOS Trust, a community-based organization and GE partner that empowers indigenous communities in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo through capacity building programs and peer learning. For over 25 years, the organization has raised awareness of indigenous issues and strengthened indigenous systems throughout the region.

Photo credit: Didi Nelson, PACOS Trust

Learn more about Anne’s work at: www.pacostrust.com 

Rebecca Leaf, Founder, Rural Association of Development Workers Benjamin Linder (ATDER-BL) – NicaraguaRebecca is an MIT graduate, engineer and the founder of ATDER-BL, Green Empowerment’s first implementing partner, and longest standing. She was a dear friend of Ben Linder, whose work inspired the founding of our organization. Soon after graduating from college, she committed her life to advancing community water and electrification projects in Nicaragua, primarily in the municipalities of El Cuá and San José de Bocay in the department of Jinotega.

Learn more about Rebecca’s work at: www.atder-bl.org 

Alicia Ortiz, Executive Director, ALTROPICO – Ecuador

Alicia is a passionate conservationist and a forward-thinking leader who Green Empowerment started working with to integrate community development into conservation efforts in Ecuador. This winter, Alicia took time out of her busy day to share the history, mission and projects of ALTROPICO with a group of students from the University of Idaho, who participated in our service-learning program during their Alternative Winter Break.

Learn more about Alicia’s work at: www.altropico.org.ec/en/ 

Mariela Pino, Network Coordinator, RedBioLAC – ChileMariela has an important and challenging role in advancing the work of the Biogas Digester Network of Latin America and the Caribbean (RedBioLAC), which engages diverse stakeholders from 16 countries throughout the region in sharing best practices and resources to advance the adoption of this widely applicable technology. Most recently, WISIONS for Sustainability invited her to attend the COP23 in Paris to promote the importance of local actors in advancing climate action.

Learn more about Mariela’s work at: www.redbiolac.org  

Dipti Vaghela, Network Facilitator and Manager, Hydro Empowerment Network (HPNET) – Myanmar

Dipti is a micro-hydropower practitioner and workshop organizer for HPNET, a network of practitioners and a GE partner committed to the advocacy and advancement of sustainable micro-hydropower for rural empowerment in South and Southeast Asia. She has a strong track record of advocating for local practitioners and understands what it takes to advance challenging projects. She recently met with local community stakeholders at a Buddhist temple in Shan State to share her work. 

Learn more about Dipti’s work at: www.hpnet.org

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