From Mali to Haiti, via Cambodia and the Philippines, Energy Assistance volunteers travel to the four corners of the world. Their mission? Enabling access to essential energy services in remote areas.
When we only have to flick a switch to turn on the light we tend to forget that electricity is a precious commodity. Unfortunately, there are still remote areas in the world where access to this basic necessity is difficult or non-existent. This is true even for essential services, such as hospitals and schools.
It was based on this observation that the not-for profit organisation ASBL Energy Assistance was founded in 2001, on the initiative of colleagues who were then part of Tractebel / Electrabel. Since then, it has completed hundreds of assignments in over 50 countries! About ten Sibelga staff members put their electricity skills to work for this association, which is now managed by the Engie group.
When electricity changes lives
Sent a few years ago to a small village in the Democratic Republic of Congo to install 21 solar panels with a colleague and three local technicians, our colleague Serge Delgoet tells us: "Thanks to the new facilities we had the satisfaction of seeing the first ultrasound performed."
Thanks to the new facilities we had the satisfaction of seeing the first ultrasound performed.
One of the strengths of Energy Assistance is that there is prior contact with the local people. When we arrive, they are waiting for us and are present throughout the project.
Olivier De Baets was one of the first Sibelga employees to join the ASBL. Returning from a mission to Guinea in 2020, he said: "One of the strengths of Energy Assistance is that there is prior contact with the local people. When we arrive, they are waiting for us and are present throughout the project."
And it's not just a matter of coming to install photovoltaic panels and then leaving: the missions generally include on-site training of technicians to maintain the installations over the long term.
To find out more about the projects carried out by Energy Assistance, visit the association's website.