Refugee camps utilise large quantities of diesel to run their camps on electricity. Approximately 3 kilograms of CO2 is released into the atmosphere for every litre of diesel consumed. So in 2017 a group of students at TU Delft, in the Netherlands realised that we as students had the technical skills necessary to design, develop, organise and to execute projects that provide renewable energy in refugee camps to try and aid the refugees while at the same time help the environment as well. Since then the refugee crisis has only escalated, spreading to more countries.
Each year we develop a plan of action, wherein we identify refugee camps that would need our help. Following the usual academic year, we always initiate each project in September. We begin by getting in touch with local NGOs to get a better understanding of how we might be able to help the refugees in their area. Once we understand the needs of the refugee camp, we start designing our system while simultaneously calculating costs and logistics of executing the project, which is then followed by a fundraising campaign to help fund the project. We believe in the utmost transparency in the usage of the funds we receive. This entire process usually takes a few months, after which we execute our projects in the summer following that academic year.
So far we have completed two projects successfully, one in Karatepe camp and the other in the Moria camp, both in Lesvos, Greece. The systems designed together produce 30 kilowatt peaks of electricity. Both projects were collaborations with different NGOs functioning in the respective camps already. If you want a more detailed description of the projects, click here!
The refugee problem is a humanitarian crisis which has left NGOs overburdened with responsibilities. This project wants to address one of the most important problems in the refugee camps in Greece: access to cheap and reliable energy.
Our mission is to use sustainable technologies to solve this problem, making a real impact on refugee camps. We want to improve people’s lives in the camps, contribute to solving the energy problem which will allow sustainable development. We aim to reduce the dependency on public parties and make the camps more autonomous while engaging the camp residents for setting up this system and later maintaining it by themselves.
OUR TEAM 2020-2021
I know we won't change the world but we can definitely improve the lives of some people significantly and that's what motivates me
JAN VAN ENGElENHOVEN
I am excited to put knowledge into practice, we have a lot of resources and have had the privilege of an education. We have the power to make a large impact on a lot of people
As it is now there is a lot of migration around the world. Given the current climate crisis, these rates will likely increase, leading to more political tension. This is a problem we must be aware of and try our best to address.
I am excited to step into the humanitarian world and, specially this year, be challenged with creating a technical solution that is modular and accessible enough without physically being there to implement it
In the past year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the global refugee crisis has fallen out of the headlines, when the reality is they need our support more than ever
ALVARO DE GRUIJTER
Less than 10% of people have a university degree. It would be selfish not to help and enhance opportunities of those with less resources. This is one of many ways to contribute to the society in which we want to live
It is important that organisations like Energy for Refugees exist because they create opportunities, especially for students, to get insights into non-profit work and how easy it is to help.
Motivated by my previous school and having my sister volunteering at the Moria camp made me choose Energy for Refugees. It perfectly gathers two passions of mine; engineering and volunteering
From living with refugees I really got to know very closely the intricacies and the fact that this crisis is not a straightforward issue; there are cultural differences but these people deserve a better life