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While other families enjoyed a leisurely Father’s Day, WE CARE Solar dads Hal Aronson and Brent Moellenberg decided to celebrate moms and dads across the world on Father’s day. They held a solar suitcase building party – preparing nine solar suitcases to improve maternal health care in three destinations: Nicaragua, Tanzania, and Nigeria!

Christian Casillas, our team member conducting his UCB graduate research with BlueEnergy, is bringing two solar suitcases to Bluefield, Nicaragua. After placing the newest suitcases in rural sites, Christian will be testing the function of new data logging monitors being installed for our research. We’re eager to see how the solar suitcases perform under all sorts of conditions, and the small Hobo monitors will be recording data every 15 minutes throughout the day and night.

One solar suitcase will be heading to a hospital in Tanzania, where medical director Dr. Chirangi has been using the solar suitcase for deliveries and surgeries at Shirati Hospital. A new emergency room opened up needing light, and now the hospital can place the suitcases in more than one location. Dr. Chirangi visited us in April, and told us that the solar suitcase helps him in surgery “to see individual tissues layers” with ease. He said he can work faster and more efficiently with our powerful LED lights.

The next two suitcases will be traveling with co-founder Dr. Laura Stachel to Nigeria, where they will be placed in maternal health facilities to improve the safety of deliveries. These suitcases will be powering lights, phones, and allowing us to test out new fetal dopplers – monitors that will let clinicians and mothers listen to their baby’s heart beats. More suitcases will follow in the coming months.

While most dads might opt for a “day off” on Father’s Day, Brent and Hal are doing their part to promote safe motherhood and healthy families around the world.