Sirona Cares Provides Haiti with a Light Christmas

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Only one out of eight people have access to electricity in Haiti. This Christmas, however, 600 homes and 3,000 people enjoyed light and electricity for the first time.

“Sirona fights poverty by placing the power to create, use and sell alternative energy into the hands of the world’s poorest people.” stated Michelle Lacourciere, Executive Director of Sirona Cares Foundation.

For the vast majority, their only source of light is through kerosene lanterns or candles. In just four days, Sirona Cares and Day & Night Solar provided affordable electricity to six communities in southern Haiti including the remote island of Ile a Vache

Sirona Cares is a non-profit organization founded in 2009 to tackle one of the world’s most pressing community issues – energy poverty. “Sirona fights poverty by placing the power to create, use and sell alternative energy into the hands of the world’s poorest people.” stated Michelle Lacourciere, Executive Director of Sirona Cares Foundation. Worldwide 1.4 billion people have little or no access to electricity, and spend much of their time collecting or paying for fuel for their basic needs. According to the World Economic Forum, “Access to energy is fundamental to improving quality of life and is a key imperative for economic development.” Sirona’s program brings affordable clean energy into communities.

Through this project, thousands of Haitians received an increased quality of life in many ways. From a health perspective, eliminating Kerosene soot and fumes from the home is like eliminating each person’s exposure to 40 cigarettes a day. By replacing the kerosene lamps, pollution was also eliminated in the environment. On December 12th a landmark agreement was reached in Paris when 195 countries signed the Paris Climate Accord. This agreement is focused upon lowering carbon emissions globally. Within a week of the gavel pounding in Paris, 600 Haitian homes were kerosene free. Economically, the project provided six jobs for station operators and two technicians, and created six businesses.

Day & Night Solar offers all of the services required to design, install, finance and maintain renewable, solar energy systems no matter how remote the location. In this partnership Day & Night’s technical skills combine with Sirona’s experience in implementing new projects in developing countries to create solutions for energy access. "In supporting this program, Day & Night Solar provided the critically needed training for Haitian technicians to keep this project maintained once the American teams returned home.” says Melinda Kershaw, Director of Marketing for Day & Night Solar. Sirona and Day & Night Solar’s solution of affordable, sustainable energy is centered upon a solar charging station and battery kits rented by households. Each battery is used in homes to run lights, charge phones, and run other devices. The charging station, if properly maintained, will last for approximately 10 years and costs six cents per home per day, or roughly a penny a day per person, assuming an average family of five.

For many years to come, 3,000 Haitians will enjoy a light Christmas and affordable electricity thanks to Sirona Cares and Day & Night Solar.

Please consider a tax deductible donation to help spread light in developing countries.

Visit the Sirona Cares http://sironacares.org/ and Day & Night Solar http://dayandnightsolar.com/ websites to find out how you can support more projects to spread the light of opportunity through affordable, renewable energy.

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Melinda Kershaw
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