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The GENI-us Letter

Ending Poverty in the Developing World — Both Macro and Micro Engineering Is Needed

Dear GENI Friend,

In January, I visited India for the first time on a tour organized by fellow Rotarians. We visited many of the impressive monuments and temples in the region around Delhi. Yet, the most striking images were those of entire families living on the street next to our hotel or in rural villages with no running water, electricity, transportation or communication. It was poverty on a widespread scale.

The experience helped me appreciate all that we have. By no fault of their own, millions are born into substandard living conditions. 1.6 billion people, mostly living in Africa and on the Indian subcontinent still have no electrical services, clean water or sanitation. I saw their will to work and survive, while lacking all the basic services that we take for granted. This is one of the engineering and moral challenges of our time.

At the regional scale, we saw first-world power grids in India — yet experienced several power outages during our stay. Commerce stops when the power goes out. Investing in transmission systems across the country buttresses the whole economy. The World Bank helps to fund projects to upgrade and interconnect grid systems across the Indian subcontinent.

Meanwhile in South Africa, rural electrification is powering new jobs and income, transforming their lives. The benefits are greatest for women and children, who spend hours every day collecting firewood and fetching water. Refrigeration of medicines, a solar water pump and a light bulb can transform the quality of life for an impoverished family and an entire village.

The faces of woman and child begging for food and money is impossible to forget. They do whatever they can to survive. It's difficult to imagine, but take away our electricity and we would have no work, no clean water, no computer or TV. That's what GENI is about — getting clean electricity to everyone as soon as possible. My tour reinforced the need for the GENI Initiative, and we appreciate your continued support in making our world a better place for all.

In partnership,

Peter Meisen


p.s. GENI is sponsoring 6 leading business and thought leaders who studied with Buckminster Fuller. Our next "On Fuller Living" teleseminar is April 8th with DC Cordova. You can hear it FREE at: ??? Please share this link with your friends.

p.p.s. Please consider renewing your GENI pledge. It will make a real difference in our work.

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Updated: 2008/02/15

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