We are targeting five critical countries with high rates of maternal mortality and inadequate energy access: Our first four countries are Liberia, Uganda, Sierra Leone, and Zimbabwe. We aim to reach more than 8,000 centers in the first five years, serving millions of mothers and newborns.
We partner with ministries of health and energy, UN agencies, NGOs and solar installers to ensure EVERY eligible maternal health center within a country has reliable power.
As we work to light every birth in these countries, we engage partners, influencers, and decision-makers through a global advocacy and communications initiative. Our goal is to highlight selected countries as “Models of Excellence” for electrification of maternity care – with a long-term vision of elevating the Light Every Birth initiative to a continental and global scale.
Light Every Birth Liberia, launched in 2017, is our first Light Every Birth success. We equipped 441 health facilities with our Solar Suitcases, in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Africare, Energising Development (EnDev), Public Health Initiative Liberia (PHIL), UNICEF, UNFPA, and UN Women, and trained 2,347 health workers to use our technology. Now, every eligible health center in Liberia has clean energy for safe childbirth! This is an incredible milestone, proving that it is feasible and possible to Light Every Birth throughout an entire country. We are now working with the Ministry of Health and partner Smart Energy on implementing a country-wide sustainability and handover strategy.
Uganda became our second Light Every Birth country with a formal launch conducted in partnership with the Ministry of Health in 2018. 1,400 health facilities have been equipped with Solar Suitcases and hundreds more will be served in 2021. Past and present partners include the Ministry of Health, All in Trade, AMREF, AVSI, Brick by Brick, CHAI, Doctors with Africa CUAMM, Ekide, Feni Certified Installation Team, Healthy Child Uganda, IntraHealth International, Pathfinder, Safe Mothers Safe Babies, Save the Children, Uganda Private Midwives Association, and UNICEF.
We Care Solar launched Light Every Birth Zimbabwe in 2020 in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Child Care. The event was officiated by the First Lady of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa, who pledged her support for bringing clean energy to safe childbirth throughout the country. To date, We Care Solar has equipped 630 health centers in Zimbabwe with Solar Suitcases in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Eletech, Engineering World, and ZimEnergy EcoFoundation. We plan to install approximately 270 more Solar Suitcases in 2021, with a goal of ensuring reliable lighting and electricity is available for all institutional births across Zimbabwe by the end of 2021.
On December 10th, 2021, we formally celebrated Sierra Leone as our fourth Light Every Birth country in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, the Ministry of Energy, district health officials, and a range of dedicated partners. We identified more than 1,100 health facilities in need of clean energy for childbirth and fostered partnerships with CARE, IRC, Save the Children, UNFPA, GOAL, and CUAMM. With lead support from UBS Optimus Foundation, CRI Foundation, Gilead Foundation, and the Meadow Fund we look forward to the day when every maternal health center has light and every mother has access to safe childbirth.