We Care Solar
2150 Allston Way
Berkeley, CA 94704
Every year an estimated 300,000 women and babies throughout the developing world die during childbirth because it happens at night where there is no electric power for lighting, and many more have serious complications for the same reason. This fact was made very evident to Dr. Laura E. Stachel, M.D., M.P.H. during a medical trip to rural Nigeria in 2008. She is an obstetrician-gynecologist, and her husband, Hal Aronson, Ph.D. is a solar power expert.
Together Dr. Stachel and Dr. Aronson founded We Care Solar and developed the compact Solar Power Suitcase. It contains a solar grid, a special light, and (quoting from their website) “equips off-grid medical clinics with solar power for medical and surgical lighting, cell phones, refrigeration for blood banks, and other essential medical devices.” The cost is around $1,800, but efforts are made to make the devices available where people can’t afford them. As of November, 2021, over 6000 Solar Suitcases have been installed in over 3500 health centers in 49 countries. They have served over 1.8 million mothers.
In addition to the medical kits, other ones have been devised for schools and orphanages in places where regular electrical current is not available.
Their programs have helped in 29 countries in Africa and Asia and continues to expand as resources allow. In 2013, Dr. Stachel was nominated to become a CNN Hero and thus got national and international television recognition for what she, her husband, and colleagues are doing. See their website for interesting videos and other information.