Innovation That Matters

Each battery given to kids in Tanzania has a unique ID code, which the Solar Cow records every time it is used | Photo source Solar Cow

Startup sells portable light device to fund solar charging stations in Tanzania

Nonprofit & Social Cause

The campaign aims to help hundreds of children from low-income families get access to clean energy and education

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Spotted: South Korea and US-based solar technology startup YOLK has kickstarted a crowdfunding campaign designed to fund dozens of solar charging stations at schools across Tanzania.

Funding will be provided by customers buying the Solar Milk portable batteries and light. Solar Milk can be used as a power bank to charge mobile phones and also makes an excellent night or flashlight. Solar Milk provides hours of bright light per charge, or six hours of soft light. 

There is then an option to buy the same device for a child in Tanzania. At home, Solar Milk can be charged with using a USB-C and in Tanzania, children will be able to charge them at special solar charging systems, which are installed in schools.

Many low-income families in developing countries rely on kerosene lighting and relatively expensive charging stations to meet their energy needs. The project, called Solar Cow, aims to provide a tangible incentive for parents in low-income families in Tanzania to send their children to school instead of work. Furthermore, Solar Cow has been designed to fit into and enhance kids’ existing routines, as they transport batteries to their homes on their daily school commute. 

Children will be able to plug in their portable batteries, which are also distributed by YOLK, to the cow-shaped charging stations at their schools and attend classes while waiting for their batteries to be fully charged.

Backers who select the Give + data option will be shown data on kids’ charging of their Solar Milk. Each battery given to kids in Tanzania has a unique ID code, which the Solar Cow records every time it is used. Transparency is a key concern when it comes to working in developing countries: this feature, therefore, helps keep YOLK accountable and demonstrates the real impact of their purchases.

Written By: Katrina Lane

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