Programs

Powering Resilient Communities

Solar energy drives education, entrepreneurship, health and creativity

We began our work in Sub-Saharan Africa, where over 600 million people don’t have electricity, by providing our solar lights and chargers at locally affordable prices.

Together with our partners and your support, our work has expanded to further education, health, food security, economic development and citizen engagement on climate change. We also work with cultural institutions and artists to bring solar into people’s everyday lives, globally.

Below you will find information on our program areas.

Education

Little Sun provides solar lamps to children in areas without electricity. Each solar lamp generates 1,200 additional hours of study time for students and saves families $250 in household expenses over the lifespan of the lamp. We also make solar phone chargers available to educators so they can access educational content.

Our current education programs include:
Power to Read

Little Sun is working in a major partnership with the Ethiopian Ministry of Education and local organizations to distribute 500,000 solar lamps to students and 5,000 solar phone chargers to teachers in remote parts of Ethiopia.

Solar Schools

We distribute solar lamps and phone chargers in close coordination with donors, local Ministries of Education, and NGO partners. We have distributed personal solar devices for education in Burkina Faso, Senegal, Tanzania, and elsewhere in Africa.

Solar Science

We lead workshops and learning events using our solar lamps as teaching tools.

Health

The majority of health facilities and health workers across rural Africa either have no access to electricity or sporadic service. Some health workers travel hours just to charge phones, which are valuable tools for connecting patients to the care that they need. Without reliable power, health practitioners cannot perform basic diagnostic tests, refrigerate medicines, or have light for performing medical procedures.

Our health activities include:
Community Health

We are partnering with ministries of health and community health providers such as SHOFCO, Partners in Health, D-Tree and BRAC to make solar-powered mobile phone chargers available to health workers in remote areas and emergency situations.

Solar Clinics

Little Sun, in partnership with the Ethiopian Ministry of Health and our local Ethiopian partner, Solar Development, is bringing integrated solar systems to health facilities in remote parts of the country. Solar systems are used for: lighting, cold storage, and powering medical devices and lab services.

Food Security & Livelihood

New sources of reliable, accessible and affordable energy help African economies to grow. Little Sun develops low-cost clean energy initiatives which encourage economic development without depleting the earth’s natural resources. Our programs focus primarily on improving livelihoods for local farmers, and others in communities without steady electricity access.

Projects currently in development include:
Egg Incubation

Local fabrication and deployment of solar-powered egg incubators boost farmer income and improve access to high-protein food in Burkina Faso.

Rice Milling

Solar-powered rice milling in Nigeria puts control of the milling process in the hands of farmers and enhances farmer income.

Irrigation

Deploying small-scale, solar-powered irrigation pumps in Ethiopia improve irrigation efficiency.

Drying

Using solar dryers to preserve agricultural products, such as mangoes and bananas, expands farmer income in Senegal.

Micro-Business

Solar-powered mobile phone charging, solar-powered hair clippers and solar lamp sales in Senegal help to boost rural incomes through new enterprises.

Pay-As-You-Go

Using mobile payment systems makes energy affordable and accessible to low income consumers. Consumers pay for energy in small increments, as they use it. Little Sun’s prime Pay-As-You-Go initiative is currently operational in Zambia.

Citizen Engagement

We aim to inspire action on climate change and create a thriving world powered by the sun through art, culture and creativity. We turn what is often technical and abstract into something that is accessible and emotional. Little Sun mobilizes action with public campaigns, exhibitions, publications and collective art experiences.

In addition to our health, education, livelihood, and citizen engagement initiatives, Little Sun works with international organizations and the UN to deliver solar lights and chargers to refugees and internally displaced people, and in disaster relief efforts.