It’s been two weeks since the Electrify Africa bill dropped in the House. While we wait for the Senate bill, ONE Campus staff, the ONE Campus Student Advisory Board and a few lucky ONE interns took to the hill to talk to their representatives and ask them to support #ElectrifyAfrica!
The last Electrify Africa act passed through the House with 117 sponsors in May, 2014, but unfortunately it died in the Senate before they could vote and put it in action. Today, the ONE Campus Student Advisory Board, a group of 15 student leaders who are the heads of their ONE chapters at their respective colleges and universities, engaged in some direct advocacy, DC style, to help keep the momentum going this time around.
During the year these campus leaders put on hundreds of events to raise awareness on ONE’s issues, and in particular on energy poverty. The events ranged from coffeehouses, to art campaigns, from tabling to charity runs, but all of them were focused on teaching fellow students that 7 out of 10 people living in Sub-Saharan Africa do not have access to electricity, and that more than 30 percent of clinics and hospitals in sub-Saharan Africa, serving approximately 255 million people, are without electricity.
Here for a week long training session, the student leaders were keen to to amplify their voices and the voices of the thousands of students involved with ONE Campus. Together with the Government Relations team at ONE they participated in 25 different meetings with representatives and senators from their home states and talked about how important this bill is to them.
As she was leaving the hill, one campus leader said, “It feels so good to know that what we did today will be making a real difference.”