A small group from the Portland Honors College took a trip to Borneo last week to volunteer with TONIBUNG, a Sabah-based NGO. TONIBUNG's work is centered around bringing sustainable resource management solutions to rural indigenous communities. For the past 10 years, TONIBUNG has been focusing on rural electrification, predominantly micro-hydroelectric systems. The idea is to empower rural indigenous technicians, thereby enabling them to design and implement renewable resource management schemes of their own.
Portland based organization, Green Empowerment, organized this initiative in collaboration with PSU. If you haven't heard of Green Empowerment definitely check them out! They work with local partners around the world to help strengthen communities by delivering renewable energy and clean water. "We envision an equitable and sustainable world where everyone has clean water, renewable energy and a healthy environment in which to grow and thrive" (G.E.). On their website there are links to volunteer both locally in Portland and abroad. I highly recommend it if you have the opportunity. Working on completing a micro-hydro project in the highlands of Borneo was the most invaluable experience I have ever had.