Grid Earth Project supports teacher‘s efforts with solar light

In the remote village of Fireburn in the jungle of Central America, Cormen Wupip attempted to teach a handful of students how to read. Flickering candlelight dimly lit the grass-walled schoolroom, and the children struggled to see the pages before them, but Cormen was afraid to use lamps full of fuel to bring more light to the room. All one student had to do was knock over a lamp, and they might all be engulfed in flames. It had happened before.

Cormen looked out at the heads bent over books before him. Not one Fireburn student had ever passed the basic Primary School Exam—but now they had a teacher who was determined to shed light on the students of this tiny school buried in the jungle.  Cormen cared enough to undergo a difficult commute—an hour of rough road, two crank bridges, a  five-mile canoe trip, and a hike through the jungle—in order to teach these kids during the week. But his efforts were useless if he was the only one who cared.

Fortunately for the students at Fireburn, someone else did care.

Recently Cormen and every family in Fireburn received solar powered lights from the Grid Earth Project, a 501(c) 3 Charity based in Georgetown, Texas.  As Grid Earth Executive Director Audrey Cochran puts it, “Whether a village consists of one hundred children or ten, they all deserve the same chance for a safe education.” Grid Earth was created to help impoverished communities replace dangerous lighting such as candles and fuel-oil lamps, which caused burns, deaths, respiratory illnesses, and eyestrain; victims were predominantly under age sixteen.

In a place so remote that visitors are nonexistent, with the exception an occasional jaguar, students are now using the most advanced solar light technology to learn and improve their lives. Audrey explains that Grid Earth provides solar powered lights at no charge to those without access to electricity and who live at the bottom of the economic pyramid.  “Our goal is to end energy poverty through education while saving lives and improving health at the same time. The switch to solar also creates instant savings.”

Grid Earth distributed the lamps to the ten families in Fireburn and the school as part of a distribution that included 600 households. Grid Earth also works with other charity and nonprofit groups to provide solar lighting for individual projects. Since its beginning in 2010, Grid Earth has shipped lamps for distribution in countries all around the world.

Where students were falling behind, education is now flourishing. Students in Fireburn now study under clean, safe, and bright solar light.  No child will ever again risk his or her safety in order to get an education in Fireburn . And about that exam? After just one year of Cormen’s teaching, aided by solar lights, three students passed the basic exam.

To find out more about the Grid Earth Project, visit

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