Solar Sister is an award winning social enterprise supporting women and girls in rural Africa by providing access to clean, dependable renewable energy, enabling them to lift themselves, their families and their communities out of poverty. Solar Sister's vision is that of light, hope, opportunity.
Energy poverty is a critical component of global poverty. In sub-Saharan households, 75% of homes have no access to network electricity. The indoor air pollution caused by the smoke emitted from burning wood and kerosene for light and cooking is responsible for 1.6 million deaths per year. On average, women spend 25% of their time fetching wood for cooking and heat. Time which could otherwise be spent on more productive tasks.
At the village level, energy poverty means you can't pump clean water regularly, there's no communications, no way to have adult literacy classes, and no way to run computers at schools or have connectivity. It places a limit on the activities of an individual and on a community. Education, health and safety and economic opportunity are seriously impacted by lack of reliable, clean, affordable electricity.
It is mostly women in rural villages that bear the burden of energy poverty. They are the ones that walk for miles every day to fetch water for cooking, drinking, cleaning. They are the ones who spend hours collecting wood for cooking. The burden of subsistence falls on the women and girls in a village. They sacrifice education and opportunity to basic survival.
Simply by giving these women and girls access to clean, dependable solar electricity, we can alleviate the burden of energy poverty and change lives. Investing in women is not only the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do. Solar Sister creates sustainable businesses, powered by smart investment in women entrepreneurs.