EAPN Newsletter – May 2015 — Richenda’s Message

newsletter bannerRichenda’s Message

May 2015

Richenda headshot square

Dear Friends,

This month saw our team in New York along with many members of the Practitioner Network for the second-annual Sustainable Energy for All Forum.
Forum sessions covered many aspects of energy access, highlighted the critical role of de-centralized energy solutions in reaching off-grid communities, and featured the work of members like India’s new CLEAN Network, Abze Solar, SELCO, WakaWaka Light, One Degree Solar, Mobisol, Azuri, Earthspark, We Care Solar and many more.

A personal highlight for me was standing on the podium of the UN General Assembly Hall on the last day of the forum, together with 12 members of the network drawn from all over the world, as they each announced their new commitments in support of achieving “Sustainable Energy for All.”

While many more could not join us in person, the member announcements highlighted the value of our combined work, and the millions of customers, communities, refugees, and people in need served through our member organizations. As departing SE4ALL CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General Kandeh Yumkella puts it so well, announcements like these put “commitments into kilowatt hours” and show that energy has a human face.


One of the themes we heard over and over again during the Forum in New York was the essential role that energy access plays in medical and humanitarian crises, like those currently facing the people of Nepal. Efforts continue today to address the humanitarian crisis in Nepal following the two massive earthquakes last month. The economic damage caused by the earthquakes, alongside the tragic loss of life, is estimated to be as much as half of Nepal’s GDP.

We therefore dedicate this month’s newsletter to shining a light on the dedicated work of member organizations on the front lines delivering the energy solutions needed as part of the humanitarian response in Nepal.

Warm regards,
Richenda's signature

Richenda Van Leeuwen
Executive Director, Energy Access, United Nations Foundation