Strengthening Communities

Totota Electric Cooperative

After working with the community in Totota, Liberia, NRECA International helped establish an electric cooperative to provide them with first time reliable, affordable electricity. With funding from USAID’s Cooperative Development Program, donations and volunteer lineworkers from America’s electric cooperatives, the Totota Electric Cooperative (TEC) was born. Today this new electric cooperative has become self-sufficient in less than two years, serving as a model of sustainable power that could lead to more co-ops in the West African nation.

But NRECA International’s involvement has not stopped. In fact, over the 50+ years of implementing electrification programs worldwide, NRECA International knows that it is critical to also implement productive use of electricity (PUE) programs to help those who receive electricity access with the means and knowledge to generate income.

Strengthening the Communities

This year the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the team to temporarily suspend the popular volunteer program, but they continue to pursue other charitable initiatives that can continue to improve the lives of thousands in rural communities.

To help communities like Totota, NRECA International is launching the “Empowering Small Businesses to Strengthen Communities” fundraising campaign to help rural communities in developing countries unlock their full potential economic growth.

We are asking you today to make a monetary donation so we can continue to partner with villages like Totota to help create new business opportunities and improve their quality of life.

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In Totota, many have dreams. Meet three of them.


Madeline sells sweet frozen milk at the market, and walks 30 minutes every day to a facility to freeze her treats. She goes back the next day to collect them and walks to the market to sell them. With our help, she will be able to invest in a refrigerator, materials, and subsequently open her own ice cream shop – so her customers can do the walking.

Totota is a community located about 80 miles northeast of Liberia’s capital Monrovia and is a regional trading center. Before electricity was available, most households relied on dry cell batteries, lanterns and candles while a small number purchased electric service from individuals who own and operate small generators.

Today, NRECA International is partnering with TEC and the community’s small business owners to implement PUE programs. Loans will be issued to a new wave of entrepreneurs (especially women) who now have electricity access, so they have the means and knowledge to generate income using electricity. This will help grow their businesses, improve their lives, and also contribute to the economic growth in Totota.


Abdullah opened a tire repair shop and saved for a year to buy a generator and an air compressor. His business sign is a tire attached to a pole in front of his shop, used to attract the cars, trucks and motorbikes that pass his shop every day. With our help, he won’t have to buy fuel for his generator, he can save money by using more reliable co-op power, and extend business hours by installing lights in his shop

Donations will help provide seed money and investments to small businesses in rural communities to purchase electric appliances and other electric-powered tools, learn how to maximize their use, and ultimately help them generate income and grow their businesses. These businesses can include clinics, refrigeration facilities, restaurants, repair shops, and more.


Chris‘s barber shop is a little shack with mirrors, two chairs and a bench for waiting customers. Before electricity came to Totota, his steady hand used bare razor blades to trim hair and beards. With our help, he can do more than just buy an electric trimmer. We can help him invest in other tools of the trade, and maybe a roof over his shop!

It starts with power. Now we need your support to empower this and other communities in developing countries. In Totota, several residents already have dreams. Donate today to help us make the dreams of Madeline, Chris and many others come true.  With a little help from us, they can build small businesses to better provide for their families and improve their quality of life.

Donate now