By Laurie Guevara-Stone, Solar Energy International’s International Program Manager
This entry was originally posted on the Solar Energy International Blog on March 19, 2012.
Solar Energy International and WE CARE Solar are teaming up to train a group of women to be Solar Suitcase Ambassadors. Solar Suitcase Ambassadors will take a leadership role in solar suitcase installations and solar trainings in developing countries.
More than 350,000 women die each year from pregnancy complications, and millions of infants are stillborn or die in the first days of life, primarily in regions with insufficient energy resources for conducting basic obstetric care. The award-winning WE CARE Solar Suitcase is an economical, easy-to-use portable power unit that provides health workers with highly efficient medical lighting and power for mobile communication, computers and medical devices.
Women who are interested in volunteering their time overseas to help improve maternal health care around the world will be accepted to the program through a stringent selection process. We are seeking women from diverse regions including United States, Africa, and Haiti. Women who commit to taking a leadership role as Solar Suitcase Ambassadors will receive a highly subsidized six-week online course on solar electricity, and then a one week in-person training in Berkeley, California, on the design, use and installation of the solar suitcase, international maternal health issues, and how to instruct the health care workers in the operation, maintenance, and troubleshooting of the systems. Women from technical backgrounds and with experience in health care are encouraged to apply.