Reflecting back, we have so much to be thankful for. In 2009, we introduced our first solar electric systems to clinics in Nigeria and Rwanda, much to the appreciation of many midwives and doctors serving the rural poor. In 2010, our solar suitcases have travelled around the world, bringing light and power over the year to health providers in Haiti, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Tibet, Thailand, India, and Nicaragua.
Your enthusiasm helped us grow our WE CARE family. In February 2010, National Public Radio reported on our effort to build and deliver solar suitcases to earthquake-ravaged Haiti, utilizing the assistance of high school engineering students. The result was an outpouring of requests to initiate solar suitcase assembly programs in various locations around the country, engaging scores of students, engineers and public health enthusiasts.
We fostered hands-on training workshops in Washington, D.C., Detroit, Colorado (in collaboration with Solar Energy International – see photo above), Richmond and Berkeley. Our mission inspired multiple university projects led by students across the globe, from our own home in America – UC Berkeley, Stanford, Villanova University – to Saudi Arabia (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology), and New South Wales (at the School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering).
We are proud to report the delivery of over 40 suitcases and dozens of solar-powered flashlights and headlamps to multiple health practitioners including midwives and health attendants in Haiti, Thai midwives traveling to Burma, and local students in Tanzania.
Thanks to your support, our efforts have not gone unnoticed. “In the News” on this website highlights only a fraction of the news articles, radio broadcasts, and internet blogs and other publicity on our work. (Just Google “WE CARE Solar” in quotes and see what pops up!). We’ve given presentations in colleges, medical schools, engineering meetings, public health venues and solar conferences.
Now it is time to scale up our design and delivery programs, so that many more can join us in helping to save lives with light. For the coming year, our goal is to refine the solar suitcase design, enhance our educational program, and expand our field-testing in rural clinics. All of these activities will enable us to increase our capacity to save mothers and newborns.
To all our WE CARE family and friends, our deepest thanks, and our best wishes for a wonderful new year.
The WE CARE SOLAR Team