We are targeting seven critical countries with high rates of maternal mortality and inadequate energy access: Liberia, Malawi, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe. To date, we have already reached more than 8,600 health facilities, serving millions of mothers and newborns.
We partner with ministries of health and energy, UN agencies, NGOs and solar technicians to ensure EVERY eligible maternal health facility 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 444 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 worked with the Ministry of Health and partner Smart Energy to implement a country-wide sustainability and handover strategy, and officially handed over the project to the Ministry of Health in 2023.
Uganda became our second Light Every Birth country with a formal launch conducted in partnership with the Ministry of Health in 2018. 2,100 health facilities have been equipped with Solar Suitcases and hundreds more will be served in 2024. 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, White Ribbon Alliance, 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. Working with Eletech, Engineering World, and ZimEnergy EcoFoundation, We Care Solar aimed to equipped 1102 health facilities in Zimbabwe with Solar Suitcases, completing the installation phase in 2022. We are now putting sustainability systems in place as we prepare to hand the program over to the government.
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 1,200 health facilities in need of clean energy for childbirth and fostered partnerships with CARE, IRC, Save the Children, UNFPA, GOAL, and Doctors with Africa CUAMM. Our all-female installation team, Ignite Power, will complete installations in Sierra Leone in 2024. We look forward to the day when every maternal health center has light and every mother has access to safe childbirth.
In 2022, we laid the groundwork to bring Light Every Birth to Nigeria, a country with one of the highest rates of maternal mortality in the world. Due to the population size and scale of need in the country, we are implementing a state-by-state approach to bring We Care Solar Suitcases to qualifying health facilities. In partnership with the USAID funded Integrated Health Program, we are launching Light Every Birth in five states – Kebbi, Bauchi, Sokoto, Ebonyi, and Abuja FCT – and expect to reach 1,120 facilities in these areas. We will complete installations in Kebbi and will launch activities in Bauchi and Sokoto in 2024.
We Care Solar began working in Tanzania in 2016 and partnered with Pathfinder, Jhpiego, TanzSolar, and Norbert and Friends Mission to install 488 Solar Suitcases in nine regions across the country. In 2024, we will increase the scope of early Solar Suitcase programs and officially launch a nation-wide Light Every Birth program in the country. We will partner with the President’s Office, Regional Administration and Local Government (PO-RALG) and NGO partners, leveraging the strengths, presence, and expertise of each partner to achieve program objectives and impact. We will install approximately 3,500 Solar Suitcases at public health facilities in regions of high need and expand our successful Women’s Empowerment program, training additional female solar installers in new districts.
We Care Solar is expanding Light Every Birth to Malawi in 2024. Following landscape research and partner engagement, we will install approximately 1,000 Solar Suitcases throughout the country, targeting all three regions and 28 districts in Malawi. We will partner with the Ministry of Health (Directorate of Reproductive Health), USAID’s Momentum 1-Tiyeni Project and others. Working with the Ministry of Gender and private sector solar entities, We Care Solar aims to replicate our all-female solar installer team model.