There seems to be one consistent ingredient within the rural community that ingredient being the lack of a self-sustaining economy. Perhaps it’s more accurate to say an economy that is barely self-sustaining. Agriculture manifested in small plots of land owned by individual families which raise barely enough food for the family’s existence is the economy. Inherently this economic condition is a major participant in the cycle of poverty and illiteracy. Today the economy of many villagers has been improved in small ways through improved farming, the inclusion of cows for very poor families and the resultant market opportunities for access of vegetables or milk, some poor families have been able to increase their regular income.
One real-life story which occurred during the beginning stages of teaching new farming techniques and introducing nutritional plants through this training perhaps gives one a clear view of the depth of change of the approach to life that accompanies transitions such as are taking place. The story has to do with the rural woman, wife, mother and farmer. Her previous means of securing family income to supplement that of her husband was to make it illegal alcohol. A serious side effects of this economic venture was her own use of and seeming addiction to the alcohol she made. A very serious and potentially destructive set of circumstances were part of her daily life. This woman attended the early sessions on community farming and worked hard and learned skills and the processes to raise better crops and when given the opportunity to plant her own kitchen garden she planted hers extra-large. The results of her efforts were dramatic because of her hard work the garden flourished because of the nutritious nature of the plants she grew they were in demand at the market and so she not only was able to better feed her family but was able to stop making the alcohol and in fact made more at market with her excess vegetables than her husband did through his regular work.
Today we look at the introduction of solar and wind turbine energy as having the same potential to change individual and community life by introducing economic opportunity. We also believe the economy will be affected in a positive way by the increasing level of education of the emerging generation. The formula is simple but the habits are difficult hard work openness to change and dedication to education; this is what we believe, the roads to disrupting if not breaking the cycle of poverty and illiteracy.