New Partnership Announcement: SunFarmer
It’s with great pleasure that we officially announce a new partner of IDEAS For Us; a fellow 501 (c)(3), SunFarmer. As IDEAS For Us begins to expand our IDEAS For Energy Access Program, it’s critical that we develop symbiotic relationships with organizations that result in a mutually beneficial relationship.
SunFarmer is a nonprofit organization that provides capital and technical expertise needed to bring solar energy to hospitals, schools, and other institutions that lack reliable energy. In addition, SunFarmer provides the monitoring and maintenance support to ensure the system performs over the long-term. Currently, SunFarmer is operating in Nepal with intentions to leverage the IDEAS Movement in Africa to expand to countries that have a great need for solar energy systems, first step being in Uganda.
Thus far, SunFarmer has powered 6 health clinics, impacting over 22,000 people with access to improved healthcare, expecting to save these communities over 79,200 liters of diesel!
The SunFarmer Team is comprised of an incredible group of individuals with deep foundations in solar energy development, finance, engineering, and construction; all on a mission to put bring energy to every hospital in the world.
So what’s driving them to make this change?
“Imagine a hospital without electricity. No surgery, no lab equipment, no emergency care after sunset. For one billion people worldwide, this is the reality. Electricity is the gatekeeper to the modern medical care that has transformed the developed world, but today 300,000 healthcare facilities are without power. At SunFarmer, our goal is to change that.” – Jason Gray, Co-Founder of SunFarmer
So where does IDEAS add value?
As some of you may know, IDEAS For Uganda has rapidly scaled throughout Universities, Secondary Schools, Primary Schools and Community Chapters, amounting to over 25 chapters. It’s this social context of community based organizations which increase the probability of success for international development projects. The ability to educate, engage and empower communities throughout Uganda is a unique skillset that the IDEAS For Uganda is highly capable of accomplishing. They know what solutions are appropriate with respect to the culture of the community, a key insight that many non-locals would mistakenly overlook.
With that being said, what you may not know is, there is an urgent energy crisis in Uganda that must be addressed. According to Energy Programme Uganda, with only about 6% of the total rural population (29 million) having access to electricity, Uganda is among the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa with the lowest rates of access to electricity1. To add, per Population Action International, Uganda has the youngest age structure in the world, with 77% of its population under the age of 302. Thus far, our organizations have been working hard to survey various sites to identify their potential for rural electrification.
Here’s a high-level representation of the data we’ve collected thus far from three district; Kamuli, Kasese and Mubende:
As part of our pilot phase, through end of 2016, our goals at IDEAS For Energy Access are to electrify 5 health clinics and 5 schools in Uganda. As a result, our next steps include narrowing down the sites to ones with the highest potential for success, identifying funding partners, and continuing to develop strategic partnerships that will enable to meet our goals.
Stay tuned and reach out if you want to get engaged. – JV