More than 2.3 billion people around the world live without stable electricity or without electricity completely. To combat this, residents of impoverished communities use kerosene lamps. These lamps are not only harsh on the environment, but also contribute to a huge amount of fires and burns among users. In Nepal, women are responsible for finding the kerosene and using these oftentimes dangerous lamps.
To tackle the problem of the pollution these lamps cause, the damage afflicted to the female users as well as the problem of helping disenfranchised women, Empower Generation, has created the WakaWaka light – a solar powered LED light. This light not only eliminates the use of kerosene lamps, but WakaWaka lights are also sold exclusively by women. Nepali women are given microloans by Empower Generation to establish a small business and sell the WakaWaka lights. In a year, most women have made enough money to pay off the loan and are equipped with a business of their own.
Empower Generation is a nonprofit started by Bennett Cohen and his wife Anya Cherneff. Each entrepreneur had a different vision which the two were eventually able to mold into one solution. Shortly after creating this union of ideas they created a civil union and were married. Now, they provide clean energy to impoverished communities and work together to improve living conditions in developing countries while simultaneously empowering women.
- Pete Grapentien
Source: Earth Techling