REES Africa: Five Years of Empowering Africa with Love and Light
I envision a continent fully liberated from energy poverty and fully given to environmental sustainability practices. — Yetunde Fadeyi
Exactly five years ago, REES Africa (Renewable Energy & Environmental Sustainability for Africa), a youth-led non-governmental organization was founded by Yetunde Fadeyi to redefine the lifestyle of vulnerable and marginalized African communities. The mission was to provide renewable energy access and promote environmental sustainability through advocacy & actionable projects in Africa. The REES community marks this anniversary in retrospect and with a declaration of an immutable devotion and promise to Africa and the world.
REES kick-started its journey in February 2018 by implementing the first light-up project with the installation of 40 solar-powered systems in Aba Oje, Ogundipe, and Jagun villages in Lagelu local government area of Ibadan, Nigeria. This was done in collaboration with PUSH Foundation to provide Salpha Energy economy solar kits to empower these communities through energy access. The experience here was revolutionary and the community of volunteers departed with lessons and determination to execute more.
REES Africa took a step further with the Light Up Sagbokodji Island project in 2019. Over 57 solar panels were installed in 5 communities of Sagbokodji, Whlakodji, Ganviekodji, Bishopkodji, and Akoponawa (tie — gate) in Sagbokodji Island, Lagos State. This was supported by the implementing partner-Salpha Energy and other sponsors which include, TalentCity, Amuwo Odofin LGA, British Broadcasting Service, WattCore, Ministry of Environment, Lagos State Government, and British High Commission. This project changed the narrative in these communities from over a century’s existence in energy poverty to a new dispensation of energy empowerment and access.
1n early 2020, ninety-one (91) homes and a mosque were connected to the solar micro-grid installation across Oboi, Madaki and Sarki communities in Kagarko Local Government Area, Kaduna State. This time, a more sustainable, inclusive, and beneficial upgrade of solar energy microgrids were utilized. Financial donations came from Eleven Eleven Twelve Foundation (EETF), Yetunde-the founder, DoGood Africa, crowdfunding, KAPSCO, and other individual donations. In addition to this, inputs were received from the project partners — Steam, SocialGoodLagos, Nigerian Tribune, Smart Teller, WattCore Energy ltd, and Kagarko LGA.
Sustainability and Literacy Drive
We understand the impact of Childhood education on sustainable development and have made efforts to fill in the existing gaps. Our sustainability and literary drive in 2021, birthed an African-themed sustainability narrative titled, “JEMIMA & THE WIND TURBINE”. This was authored by Tenn Zipa and Yetunde Fadeyi, founder of REES Africa, and is available on Amazon Kindle. We distributed copies for free across schools in Nigeria. We aim to inculcate this literature into the Nigerian Syllabus and we anticipate that other SDG-themed books follow suit.
Under our #BeYourEnvironmentCampaign#, We have carried out cleaning and sensitization exercises in addition to our #Walk the climate change talk#, sustainability-inclined documentary screening, school visitation across various locations and multi-stakeholder awareness programs. Our Ìsèdá project for impact investment is in the works. We provide our full support to both Government and Non-government SDG programs and projects. Our medium platform and recently, our blog have consistently provided content that informs and advocates climate change, renewable energy access, and environmental sustainability issues and solution strategies.
The past five years have been evolutionary and REES Africa has been taking strategic steps to keep up with the pace. This year, we are venturing into the cryptocurrency world with our launch of the REES NFTs. Please check out our collections and kindly make an offer to support this noble course. The objective is to raise funds to facilitate our ‘Empower Africa’ project. We hope that you will support us even much more than you all have in the past.
REES Africa wishes to express itssincere appreciation to the organizations listed above as partners and sponsors of its projects in addition to sustyvibes, Letsdoit Nigeria, Festac Online, and others. Thank you for believing and for partnering with REES.
Thanks to the founder-Yetunde, board members, donors, advisors, followers, and the general public for your positive influence on REES Africa.
All past and present volunteers who have been a part of this success story through their immeasurable contributions hold a special place to REES Africa’s heart.
REES has been greatly delighted and inspired by the audience, opportunities, recognition, nominations, votes, and awards earned over the years.
Five years down the line, REES Africa has remained committed to its purpose. Has the mark been hit? Not yet. REES is somewhat uncomfortable with its pace due to the bottlenecks encountered. However, rather than give in to despair, the vision has been kept alive. The REES community is at the drawing board evolving, pursuing, and implementing new strategies, partnerships, and innovations to transform and empower Africa.
Once again, REES Africa remains devoted to its passions and delivery of service to Africa. Now and in the years to come, REES Africa will continue to be at the fore of Africa’s Energy transformation and empowerment. It is anticipated that you will support REES Africa to bring smiles to the faces of many more marginalized and vulnerable African communities. Cheers to the new year and to many more years of bringing love and light to Africa!
Author: Christiana Ugbem
Photo: REES Africa