Shanjidul Alam turning Rohingya refugee youths into solar engineers
After generations of statelessness, extreme violence, and marginalization in Rakhine State in Myanmar, an estimated 706,000 Rohingya people came to Bangladesh for shelter. The vast majority reaching Bangladesh are women and children, many others are elderly people requiring additional aid and protection. Without access to electricity, the communities in the refugee camp zone will continue to suffer from increased vulnerability to theft and violence. Solar power is unique in its ability to be brought into remote areas, to be pollution-free, and to scale easily. Shanjidul Alam Seban Shaan, founder of EcoVation Bangladesh is implementing projects to achieve livelihood goals for millions of Rohingya people, at the same time to provide lighting solutions free of cost. EcoVation partnered up with Dutch INGO ICCO Cooperation, in early 2020 they started a pilot project with them, training 250 Rohingya youths on solar lamp & streetlight making. The project was really impactful, those trainees are now running their own micro-enterprise on making solar lamps & selling them to the refugee camp with seed capital support from ICCO. EcoVation is now partnering up with UN Organizations like WFP, IOM & UNHCR to run large-scale programs to provide solar lamps & streetlights in the camp area.