PowerUp Ethiopia was founded in 2013 as a partnership with the University of Cincinnati (US) and Haramaya University (ET) to help in bringing the benefits of solar power infrastructure to the rural areas around Harar, Ethiopia.
Most of Ethiopia's rural poor, predominantly women and children, spend a substantial portion of their time walking miles to get clean water and firewood for their daily activities. Solar power offers a solution to bring water, light, and heat into the homes, schools, and community centers of rural Ethiopia. The University of Cincinnati-Haramaya University collaboration additionally works to develop a technically advanced workforce in Ethiopia via training on the design, installation, maintenance, and operation of solar power systems. Past projects have included providing a small solar power system to train teachers and elementary school students, providing lighting for a rural school serving 800 students, and providing a solar-powered refrigerator to store vaccines and medications for a clinic.
Revenue from this fundraising project will be used to fund solar power equipment - lights, computers, refrigerators, and water pumps - that will directly and dramatically improve living conditions for hundreds of Ethiopians. Additionally, this project will provide technical training for the construction and installation of these solar panels.
Turning the daylong labor of carrying water or collecting firewood into time for employment or education is the one of the best ways we could think of to fight poverty. (And of course, we're open to your input as well - we're all in this together.)