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Executive Director Sarah Baird and Board Member Benjamin Kerman joined more than 800 global climate leaders in Lisbon, Portugal earlier this month as Delegates to the Sustainable Energy for All Forum. This is Sarah’s 4th year attending as a Delegate.

Hosted by Sustainable Energy for All and sponsored by The World Bank, the Forum focused on sharing the latest evidence of scalable innovations in providing energy access, renewable energy, and improving energy efficiency across the globe. The theme of this year’s Forum was “Leaving No One Behind” and the Forum aimed to direct attention to those living in energy poverty, especially those unable to participate in commercial and market-based solutions. Sarah and Ben were proud to represent Let There Be Light International and our partner organizations in Uganda and Malawi, as we advocated for increased pro-poor energy-access programming in vulnerable off-grid communities.

The Forum is a primary gathering of a wide range of actors working on the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 and the Paris Climate Agreement. As noted on the Forum’s website, “At stake are significant populations that are missing out on education, health, jobs and broader economic opportunities because they do not have access to clean, affordable energy. Closing these energy gaps — especially for ‘last mile’ populations — is the Forum‘s imperative.”

On the second day of the Forum, Let There Be Light International was honored to be recognized as a founding partner of the Shine Campaign. Shine is an independent global campaign dedicated to ending energy poverty. Partners from the faith, development, and philanthropic sectors are committed to working together to solve energy poverty by 2030 – a key Sustainable Development Goal.

As a member of the United Nations Foundation’s People-Centered Accelerator for Energy Access, Let There Be Light International (LTBLI) participated in the global launch of Faces of Energy, an interactive data visualization that maps stakeholder engagement on gender equality, social inclusion and women’s empowerment at the intersection of sustainable energy and climate change agendas. LTBLI also attended workshops with other members of the Accelerator as we prioritized an action agenda to further SDG7.

LTBLI’s participation in the Forum expands our message and demonstrates our innovative programming that leverages existing social service delivery networks in underserved communities to deliver last-mile basic energy services. LTBLI program highlights include the donation and delivery of individual solar lights to highly vulnerable elders, children, and women in sub-Saharan Africa and the solar-electrification of prioritized rural health clinics to improve access and quality of healthcare in local communities.