Adeel Afshar wrote -
Hi everyone! My name is Adeel Afshar and I’m a Sophomore at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying Chemical Engineering and Engineering Physics. I’m travelling to Ghana this summer to help bring solar energy to developing communities through the Saha Global’s Global Leadership Program. I’m extremely honored to be given the opportunity to utilize my engineering education to make a difference in the lives of others and I am excited to be working towards a great cause.
I’ll be working with a team engineers for three weeks in a rural village outside of Tamale to set up a solar energy business. Once set up, we will be teaching the women of the community how to successfully run and manage the enterprise for the years to come. By giving these women ownership of the business we are empowering them with independence and opportunity to provide electricity for the community. Members of the community can come to the charging station to purchase batteries or charge their personal phones for a small fee. By working to provide this resource, we are essentially creating a brighter future for all.
In this modern age of technology, it’s incredible that over 1 billion people still lack access to electricity. In many rural communities in Africa, people still utilize open fires inside their homes to provide light and warmth. This is a huge problem as the smoke causes a slew of respiratory health issues for the ones that spend the most time in the home: women and children. Indoor air pollution accounts for four million deaths per year, more than malaria and AIDS combined. Solar energy can bring an end to this by providing a clean form of energy. Getting access to this clean energy not only allows the aspiring student to keep learning after sun sets, but it also allows the entire family to live a happier and healthier life.
Before traveling to Ghana, I am fundraising to cover the start-up materials needed for each community business, which Saha donates to the community. Donating these materials helps to keep the cost of running the business low-enough that the entrepreneurs can charge their community, where most people live on less than $2/day, affordable prices for their services. After the initial start-up cost, Saha no longer provides any financial support to the community. The solar businesses are completely owned and operated by the women entrepreneurs and are financially sustainable. Saha Global strives to empower women in rural communities to solve their village’s need for clean electricity. All of the revenue from these businesses stays in the community and is managed by the women entrepreneurs. To date, Saha Global has launched 84 clean water businesses and 20 solar electricity businesses, which empower 207 women entrepreneurs who serve approximately 43,220 people. 100% of these businesses are still in operation today.
More Ways to Donate:
Send Checks Written out to Saha Global with my name in the memo to: Saha Global
PO Box 225342
San Francisco, CA 94122-5342
You can also donate to me directly through venmo @Reahman-Afshar.
For more info on the issue and what we’re doing, feel free to check out Saha Global’s Website at http://sahaglobal.org
Together we can accomplish great things in this world. With this in mind, I know that the future is bright. Thank you for all of your kind support.