SunJack and African Woman Rising
There are numerous issues throughout the world. World hunger is one such issue that comes to mind, which effects approximately 10% of the global population. Climate change is another. However, one issue that is often overlooked is the lack of a readily available power supply, specifically in impoverished countries. Many of life’s necessities require some form of power, and solar energy has proven to be a dependable source of power for such communities.
Our mission at SunJack is to supply readily accessible energy to everyone around the world, near or far, rich or poor, first or third world. We recently had the opportunity, and honor, to help supply solar power to refugee camps in Uganda through African Woman Rising (AWR), a non-profit organization that works to empower women affected by war with the tools to rise out of extreme poverty. Founded in 2006, AWR is rooted in the conviction that women should be active stakeholders in defining their own development strategies and builds on initiatives that the women themselves have started.
In Northern Uganda, there are over 1 million South Sudanese refugees spread throughout several camps, with women and children comprising approximately 80% of the refugee population. AWR has been working in this camp since 2017 and several of AWR’s staff are refugees themselves who live in the camp. Knowing most of the inhabitants will stay for many years (worldwide the average stay for a refugee in a camp is 17 years), AWR sought a long-term intervention to help refugees become food and financially secure. Though this is not an easy task, AWR has a great team in Uganda that is dedicated to make this happen. Many of their staff live in areas where there is no electricity and use SunJack solar panels to power phones and computers.
For their most recent trip, AWR visited the Palabek camp, which hosts over 60,000 refugees. AWR’s great team of community mobilizers worked with staff members in the Palabek Camp to support AWR’s Permagarden, Adult Literacy and MicroFinance programs. Matthew, a refugee staff member pictured above, began working as a community mobilizer in the Permagarden program in 2017. As a refugee himself, Matthew has a real understanding of the situation refugees face and their daily challenges.
Matthew and all the other AWR community mobilizers received 15 Watt Solar Chargers from SunJack. The solar panel allowed the staff members to charge their phones and tablets, allowing them to stay in contact with staff at the main office in town and perform their duties.
For more information, please visit www.africanwomenrising.org. You can learn more about AWR’s initiatives and donate to their cause. Photo credit: @brian_hodges.