IEEE Smart Village Volunteers Deliver Connections and Creative Solutions

While COVID-19 has raised concerns over infection and transmission worldwide, it has also brought out the best of volunteerism and the human spirit and shines a light on the people and causes that inspire us to serve. This is particularly true for IEEE Smart Village’s (ISV) work to support energy-impoverished communities globally by providing renewable energy, community-based education and entrepreneurial opportunities. According to ISV leaders, its many volunteers are working tirelessly to address the current and future needs of villagers in the face of this unprecedented global pandemic.

“From donating solar power systems and setting up temporary hospitals to educating the most disadvantaged on how to stay safe from the virus, our team is continuing to use their talents to serve others,” confirmed Dan Estes, Chair, IEEE Smart Village Marketing, who has been moved by their volunteers’ empathy for others and commitment to problem-solving and innovation during this crisis.

“We’re working with our Smart Village entrepreneurs to ensure that their villages will have electricity, transportation, and internet to support tracing, testing and treatment for COVID-19 mitigation,” agreed ISV co-founder Dr. Robin Podmore.

Fellow ISV co-founder Ray Larsen added, “all ISV business and the IEEE Global Classroom in Denver are operating normally via Zoom, and our Silicon Valley-based team is collaborating with Rotary International on a COVID response based on joint ISV-RI projects combining ISV's 3 Pillars of Electricity, Education, and Entrepreneurism with RI's clean water, sanitation, and medical support through a newly-established telemedicine program.” On the ground, several teams are providing villages with critical supplies such as gloves, masks, food and information.

During Volunteer Week, Estes, Podmore and Larsen couldn’t be more honored to recognize all those who make ISV’s progress possible. Said Larsen, “we’re very proud of all of our partners -- the real heroes of ISV.”

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