Scouts go Solar during UN Climate Summit…with a Solar Suitcase at the Conference of Youth
«Our solar suitcase is perfect for scouts who want to go solar – due to its double function as an efficient mobile source of light and electricity in scout camps and as an easy to understand educational suitcase on the benefits of photovoltaic systems», says Samuel, a Swiss scout leader during the «Scouts go Solar» workshop at the UN Conference of Youth in Paris, COY11 right before the UN climate conferene COP21.
In December 2014, super typhoon «Ruby» destroyed large parts of Samar Island in the Philippines. It was on a saturday. The next day a team from Greenpeace Philippines went to the island to support the affected areas.
When the team arrived, they were confronted with the severe consequences – the typhoon had destroyed infrastrucuture, homes and lives. A major problem was the electricity supply interruption. No electricity meant no communication and no light.
So, Greenpeace began distributing solar suitcases to municipalities in affected areas, coupled with training on proper use of these systems. The suitcases turned out to be outstanding emergency power supplies, since they were able to (re)power electronic equipment such as GPS, radio and cell phones.
The usefulness of the solar suitcases inspired scouts from the Philippines to use them for solarizing scouts all over the world. With the help of Greenpeace, they put together a construction manual and built solar suitcases with scouts who attended a two-week solar training at Kandersteg International Scout Center.
Based on these experiences, «Scouts go Solar», a global project organised by WOSM (World Organization of the Scouts Movement), Solafrica and Greenpeace, offered workshops on solar energy to youth leaders at COY11.
The aim: To train them on solar energy by constructing themselves solar lamps on the example of a solar suitcase and by this enable them to guide their local communities towards using more solar energy.
Our message: We walk the talk - Scouts go solar!
If you feel inspired and want to go solar as well, download the construction manual for the solar suitcase at solafrica.ch/scout-badge and learn how to build your own solar suitcase!
Make sure to also check out «Scouts go Solar» on scout.org and Facebook!