Creativity and innovation are often born out of difficult circumstances. The siege in Syria has left nearly everyone suffering from a lack of electricity and interruptions to main energy sources. For five long years, residents of Eastern Ghouta lived in total darkness – until they started experimenting with alternative energy sources like wind and water turbines, gas from fermented animal dung, and solar panels
In the Eastern Ghouta region, two leaders stand out for their commitment to fighting injustice. Samer al-Khawaja is one of the founders and the current president of the Bilaliyeh council. The eldest son of a family of 15, he comes from a varied background of agriculture, factory, and airline work. Unable to stand by as his town faced massive oppression, killing, and displacement, he joined the revolution and began relief work, eventually being named director of the Office of Housing and Displaced Affairs. His council works hard for its people, investing in agricultural land, providing shelter for displaced residents, and engaging in relief projects of all kinds.
Mr. Riyad Alawi is chairman of the Harran al-Awamid council and deputy chairman of the Marj council. He highlights the urgent need for this project, which will provide local people the ability to charge electrical devices and ensure power for household appliances necessary for daily living. It will also offer employment opportunities for people with dependents. The project will serve six deserving communities: Otaya, Nashabia, Jisreen, Beit Swa, Otaiba, and Albilaliya. It will involve establishing new stations powered by solar panels, which will provide lighting and electricity to the communities.
To implement the project, they must raise $50,000 to cover the following equipment for each town:
- 10 solar panels
- 2 150-amp batteries
- 1 plunger and accompanying accessories
- Base for power panels
- 6 cables
- Fuel for the generator
- Salaries for 12 employees