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A Challenge for Change

By Jennifer Chernishenko, Administrative Assistant at Integrated Sustainability

When Integrated Sustainability partnered with Energy For All it was clear big things were on the horizon. Energy For All is an international humanitarian organization dedicated to the enhancement of water and energy infrastructure in developing countries. What may not have been so clear to the team at Integrated Sustainability is just how quickly, how much fun, and how different (for the better!) life would be thereafter.

Setting right to work as new partners we challenged ourselves to raise awareness and funds. Inspired by life in rural Nicaragua where Energy For All has two upcoming projects, we embarked on the 3 Ways in 3 Days Challenge as a way for us to experience, in a small way, the lives that Energy For All will be affecting. As the name suggests, there were three challenges for participants to take on:

1) Water: Carry 40 lbs. for 4 kilometres for 3 days. Why: With no access to clean water, people walk or bike several kilometres to a well and then carry water jugs of 40 lbs. home, more than once a day.

 2) Food: Eat only rice and beans for every meal for 3 days. Why: The daily diet of most Nicaraguans is basic and unvaried due to cost and availability.

3) Energy: Use only candlelight or flashlight while at home for 3 days. Why: In remote villages where there is no electricity, when the sun is down simple household tasks become more difficult.

Participants chose their challenges and went for it! Some ate only rice and beans, some carried weights on the treadmill at the gym or outside, some used only candles while at home, and all had an eye-opening experience!

Head of Energy For All, Roselyn Himann made the challenge a family event:

“I participated in the water challenge – where I had to carry 40 lbs. of water for 4 km for three days. I initially signed up to inspire others to take it on as well, but it turned out the benefit was for me and my family. My four and six year old children helped carry containers of water around the block and it was a great learning experience for them to have to go through the experience to not spill the water, and take care of it for the short distance.

To explain to them people have to do this in certain remote areas around the globe was an eye-opening experience for these small kids. We are so lucky and blessed in Canada with the advantages of safe, clean running water and electricity in our homes – and I was happy to take this challenge on to raise money to pay for a subsidy for the solar lighting system in Nicaragua.”

The three days of challenges was wrapped up with the Bowling For All event, where there was bowling, a silent auction, a raffle and a lot of fun! Expectations were exceeded and certainly this was just the beginning of many more great things to come!

Photos and videos from the challenge can be found (and liked!) at Energy For All’s Facebook page:

More information about Energy For All and ways to support can be found at

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