We are targeting five critical countries with high rates of maternal mortality and inadequate energy access: Our first five countries are Liberia, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, and Nigeria. We have already reached more than 8,200 centers, 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 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 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. 2,100 health facilities have been equipped with Solar Suitcases and hundreds more will be served in 2023. 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. Working with Eletech, Engineering World, and ZimEnergy EcoFoundation We Care Solar aimed to equip 1130 health centers in Zimbabwe with Solar Suitcases. In 2022, we completed the installation phase of Light Every Birth and have moved to the sustainability phase in Zimbabwe. We are putting 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 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.
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 1120 facilities in these areas. Installations are beginning in Kebbi with funding from Energias de Portugal, CRI Foundation, and the Meadow Fund.