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Sterling Planet Supports Solar Light for Africa, Ltd

Posted on 9/16/2011 by in Sustainability partnerships

2011 mission brings solar energy and new opportunities to Ugandan village

Atlanta, GA, Sept. 16, 2011– For the fifth consecutive summer, Sterling Planet has supported the nonprofit Solar Light for Africa (SLA), Ltd. in its annual project to bring more solar energy to Africa. This year, the SLA team traveled to Karamoja, a remote Ugandan village, to electrify 22 houses, a clinic and a school by installing solar energy systems.

In Uganda, a team of eight American youth joined by six Ugandan peers ventured to Karamoja in northeastern Uganda, where there is little or no access to electricity and the many advantages made possible by electrification. “When we put solar panels on Karamojan rooftops this summer, we created new opportunities for the people of this remote area,” said Will Jones, an American 19-year-old who traveled with the team from his home state of Georgia. “Their lives are better, and mine is enriched by the experience. It’s fulfilling to know that I was part of a larger effort to deliver clean, renewable energy where it has not been available before.”

SLA’s electrification projects provide increased access to nearaby facilities that deliver educational, economic and health-related benefits. With lighting, students can study into the night and iimprove their performance. Schools can stay open later, offering job skills training or other after-hours programs to benefit the local economy. Solar also is a safe energy source and helps prevent fires from traditional light sources, such as kerosene and candles. Health benefits include clean water, refrigeration and access to electric diagnostic tools and information available over the internet.

This rural electrification is a focal point for the First Lady of Uganda, Janet Museveni, who is a patron for Solar Light for Africa and a member of Parliament representing the Karamojong people. “I applaud the young people from America, led by retired Bishop Alden Hathaway and his wife, for raising funds and coming to Uganda every July to install lighting systems in schools, health clinics, churches, orphanages and homes. This gesture teaches the spirit of love and sharing.”

Added Bishop Alden Hathaway, SLA Founding Director, “The First Lady of Uganda was on hand to commemorate the project, and the Anglican bishop of Moroto, himself a Karamojong, blessed the work. It was a most unique expression of SLA’s mission to partner church, government and private enterprise in the work of bettering the lives of Karamojans.“

The outreach program delivers more than technology. “Our mission is so much bigger than solar,” said Charlene Turner, SLA Project Director. “I always remember the beautiful child I saw a few years back who was scarred by burns caused by his tripping over the home’s only light source, a kerosene lantern. We are committed to making lives safer, more comfortable, more enjoyable and more productive.”

Over the past five years, Sterling Planet has supported SLA operations in various ways, including more than $60,000 of directly donated solar equipment, additional funds for travel by key SLA and Sterling Planet personnel, and in-kind support such as office space, phone and internet use.

Founded in 1997, Solar Light for Africa (SLA), Ltd. is a nonprofit with the mission of transforming lives and empowering the people of Africa by providing light and energy using the natural power of the sun. SLA has provided solar energy to more than 2,550 facilities, including medical clinics, orphanages, schools, churches and private homes located in rural regions of Africa. www.solarlightforafrica.org

Sterling Planet has been a national leader in innovative clean energy solutions since 2000. The first company with a nationwide retail offer of wind, solar, biomass and other forms of renewable energy, Sterling Planet has delivered billions of kilowatt-hours in the form of renewable energy certificates in both voluntary and mandated markets. The client base includes 152 electric and gas utilities, 2,314 corporations, 343 government agencies and 76 colleges and other educational institutions. Sterling Planet also offers carbon offsets to offset greenhouse gas emissions and White Tags® energy efficiency certificates, which the company introduced to the U.S. in 2006.
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