Warms the Heart: Alan Riser

Alan Riser has been to the deserts of Ethiopia to the jungles of Zambia and everywhere in between. The purpose of his travels is to create
self-sustaining families and communities in remote villages in Africa and around the world by empowering them with new technology, education and opportunities. Alan is the president and founder of Charitable Ingenuity, a nonprofit 501c3 organization. “I started doing humanitarian work in Africa in 2006,” he said. “It kind of became my calling in life.” 

Using his engineering, fabricating and welding skills, Alan has made a positive difference in many remote villages in Africa. He’s built schools and medical clinics, invented lights that run off of water, lights that run off of cow manure, playground equipment that generates electricity, swings that pump water and a contraption called the Chameleon.

The Human powered Chameleon has many functions and creates many different opportunities for the village. During the harvest it can shell corn or peel cassava and then grind it into flour. It can generate enough electricity to supply rechargeable LED lanterns to a whole village. The stored power can also charge batteries of all kinds. The Chameleon can also run a table saw, grinder, air compressor, sewing machine, cement mixer, water pump and, washing machine. Most recently, the Chameleon was used to drill a hole in the earth 180 feet deep for a fresh water well.

“I’m kind of an outdoors type person so those very remote places kind of fit with me,” he said. “I spent the first part of my life trying to please myself with the toys of America and nothing has given me the satisfaction that I get from doing humanitarian work. I’ve just kind of made it my life’s passion.”

At his home in West Corinne, Alan has a “tiny piece of Africa” out there to show people what Charitable Ingenuity is doing in Africa. It’s about a quarter acre of land that has merry-go-rounds and swings that generate electricity, swings that pump water, etc.

“Humanitarian work has really brought me a lot of joy,” he said. “I’ve been able to help a lot of people along the way.”

To learn more visit charitableingenuity.com

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