Solar Electric Light Fund

Rating: 4.91 stars   11 reviews

Issues: Environment, International, Economic Development, Microfinance

Location: 1612 K St, NW Ste 402 Washington DC 20006 USA

Mission: SELF''s mission is to provide solar power and wireless communications to a quarter of the world''s population living in energy poverty. Acting as a catalyst, SELF provides technical and financial assistance to empower these people to change their lives.

SELF believes that energy is a human right. To meet global challenges such as food and water scarcity, climate change and poverty, SELF is working to assign greater priority to the importance of sustainable energy among international development banks, aid agencies, foundations, and philanthropic individuals, who are committed to improving the health, education, and economic prospects of the world''s poorest citizens.

Results: Since 1990 SELF has completed rural electrification projects in 18 countries, including China, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Vietnam, Indonesia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Brazil, Solomon Islands, Bhutan, Nigeria, Lesotho, and most recently in Benin, Burundi and Rwanda.  We are expanding into Haiti this year. Our projects have improved the health, education and economic opportunities of tens of thousands of people. In 2008, SELF brought electricity to 10 health centers and 3 schools and completed the initial site assessment phases for 17 additional health centers and 2 whole-village electrification projects.
Target demographics: the one quarter of humanity that lives without electricity
Direct beneficiaries per year: Each new health clinic directly benefits an estimated 10,000 rural villagers. In 2008, SELF electrified 10 health centers in Rwanda and Lesotho. SELF also brought solar electricity and Internet access to three schools in the remote Eastern Cape region of South Africa, benefitting 2,000 children and their families.
Geographic areas served: International
Programs: Seventy percent of people in the developing world have no access to electricity and are completely isolated from the modern world's wealth of resources. In communities with no electricity grid, SELF brings clean, solar power to light their homes, schools and health clinics; pump safe drinking water and irrigate their fields; refrigerate their vaccines; and power their micro-enterprise centers. We also bring wireless Internet to improve the education in their schools and diagnostics in their clinics. Our Solar Integrated Development (SID) model dramatically improves the quality of life for people at the bottom of the pyramid without contributing more greenhouse gases to global warming. Projects are funded with micro-finance. Since our founding in 1990, SELF has launched solar rural electrification projects in 18 countries: China, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Vietnam, Indonesia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Brazil, Solomon Islands, Bhutan, Nigeria, Lesotho, and most recently in Benin, Burundi and Rwanda.
2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 52-1701564
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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

30 people found this review helpful

This fantastic organization brings clean, environmentally friendly solar energy to disadvantaged communities to help power schools, health clinics, agricultural projects, and villages in third-world nations around the globe. I am amazed at what they can do on such a small budget. But, with their dedicated and expert team, they have changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. Love their carbon offset program too! They rock!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Africa -- I lived in Africa for ten years and know first-hand what a huge difference access to electricity can mean in peoeple's lives. This organization helps bring environmentally friendly clean solar power to communities around the globe.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Change their logo

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Their collaborative approach with the communities they work with.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Experienced, dedicated and collaborative.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Change the world... literally. It could change the lives of millions of people bringing them safe, clean, environmentally friendly energy power.

Ways to make it better...

I could make a donation to a specific project.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Raising funds in the current economic environment.

One thing I'd also say is that...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


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