Well, let us start by saying: THANK YOU ALL! All this wouldn’t have been possible without all of you, so from the bottom of our hearts, we want to tell you how grateful we are to have been given this opportunity that changed our lives for the better. The next logical step would be to list our achievements, what your kind donations have done and how it changed the lives of many more people.
One light per day
We have also researched and trialed many other products that we will soon bring to the market (including a water filter and mobile phones)! 2016 will be known within Pollinate as #theyearofproducts, and I suggest you follow Pollinate Energy on Facebook, Twitter or by subscribing to the newsletter if you’re interested to hear about future developments.
Jane (Program Leader), Matteo (Program Leader), Tao, myself, Debjyoti (Sales Manager); Julia (Matteo's girlfriend), Saurav (Assistant Manager), Jess and Tabrez (Ops Manager).
I can’t tell you enough how much these guys rock. Debjyoti recently became a father, but decided to give up his banking job (sounds familiar?) and travels 2 hours each way to work in a company that inspires him. It’s pretty much Tabrez’s first job, but the fit was instant. He used to joke that he would get a Pollinate Energy Tattoo so that he could never get fired! And Saurav (who also travels 1h30 each way every day by the way), at only 19, understood that education is the way out for so many people from his country to get out of poverty. He volunteers to teach kids in the communities on his days off, gives English lessons to our Pollinators and is dreaming about going to Canada to study new education models that he the plans to bring back to India (support him here if you can!).
Thanks guys for being such inspirations!
So many memories with the team in yellow! You all touched our hearts so much, and we’ll miss roaming around with you in the communities every day.
- July was our first Fellowship, the mapping / monsoon Fellowship, the longest one (4 weeks!). You guys bonded so well, we’ll always remember sending Sam off, Charlotte’s obsession with Ari, Josh chasing after the rat, Jimogen and the trip to the Sundarbans.
- The September YPP is now famous within Pollinate as the “Great Dengue program”. Tao and Boris both had dengue during the program, and Astrid and Tracey brought it back home (sorry girls!). It wasn’t easy, but with the help of Kat and Mon we managed to make this a successful program too, also thanks to the professionalism and enthusiasm of all the YPP’s!
- With December came winter, and our second Fellowship. Some great memories there too, in particular helping a family of 30 switch from kerosene to LPG, going to the ATK vs Mumbai football game, TJ’s karaoke skills, the “Uber-Pollinate” song on the rooftop, and so many more.
- The February program was definitely the crazy program. A lot of Fully Electrified communities were discovered (even during the trip to the Sundarbans!), and we’ll remember Xiu’s interesting facts about herself, Mot’s laughter and his marriage with Roli, the bonfire in the Sundarbans and an epic night out.
- And then our final program, which ended a couple of weeks ago on April 8th (!). It was a very emotional program (especially the last day), one during which a lot of things happened that would make this year a full circle. One example of this was Jess going back to a unelectrified community she had mapped in July with Korak, Charlotte and Jimmy, and seeing this old man who back then sat on his chair and told them how badly his community needed light (not only for inside their tents but to keep snakes away when going to the bathroom at night) and wanted to know exactly when the Pollinate team would be coming back with the product. Jess happened to go back to this community for the first time during the last week of the April program and was touched to see the same old man in his chair, now proud owner of a solar light. He wasn’t alone too, this was one of our newer Pollinators’ (Preetam) most successful communities, with 11 out of 30 families happily living in light thanks to Pollinate. We’ll keep fond memories of this program as well, such as singing Bohemian Rhapsody more than we’ve ever sang it, the “good” drivers, Mike, Sarah and Pooja’s baby poster, and of course Kira’s food-related highs and lows!
A personal thank you to all the Fellows and YPP’ers for making such a contribution in making this year one we’ll never forget! We really couldn’t have done it without all of you guys, and it most certainly wouldn’t have been as fun!
The Pollinate Energy team
What's next for us?
One final DHÔNNOBAD
Thank you to our donors for proving that there are so many people out there who believe in us and care about doing the right thing. Thank you to the PE founding team for creating this amazing company and inspiring us in everything you do. Thank you to our colleagues in Kolkata for challenging us on a daily basis and for being the family we could rely on while we were so far from our own. Thank you to all the fellows and YPPers for opening our eyes to the endless opportunities there are to do good in this world and for filling the Hive with love and laughter. Thank you to our pollinators for trusting us and for showing us how to love, and most importantly, thank you to every one of the families living in the communities we serve in Kolkata, whose hard work and perseverance, especially of the women, inspired us each and every day, and whose generosity and smiles will forever be imprinted on our hearts and in everything we do moving forward.
Jess & Boris