Solar Energy for Western Africa (SEWA, “Sonnenenergie für Westafrika e.V.") is a German non-profit organization that uses solar technology to improve the living conditions in Western Africa. In cooperation with our partners in Germany and Burkina Faso, we are providing electricity to rural schools and health centers – and all of this is powered by the sun.
Our Projects in a Nutshell
Burkina Faso is one of the least developed countries in the world. Especially in rural communities illiteracy is pervasive, and access to healthcare is very limited. The lack of infrastructure, especially electricity, is an obstacle to solving these problems. SEWA currently runs two programs that aim to improve living conditions and development opportunities in rural communities:
- Installing solar panels on rural schools. Schools in rural areas of Burkina Faso often have very low graduation rates. Classes are large and comprise all age groups, making learning difficult. After school, it is difficult for children to study, because after the sun sets they do not have sufficient lighting. Paraffin lamps are commonly used, but they are bad for health and eyesight and require expensive fuel. By providing photovoltaic systems to schools, SEWA creates more effective place of learning. Electrical lighting allows the children to review what they have learned during the day and allows teachers to prepare the next day’s classes. This can lead to an often dramatic increase in graduation rates. Many schools that benefitted from SEWA’s program have also established evening adult learning programs. Solar technology plays a highly beneficial role in increasing literacy in Burkina Faso.
- Installing solar panels on rural health centers The lack of electricity and lighting is a severe problem for rural health centers, each of which provides primary care for several villages. Emergencies and births can be dangerous at night when a pocket lamp is the only source of light. SEWA provides simple and robust photovoltaic systems to rural health stations in order to improve healthcare for rural communities.
How we operate
SEWA is committed to accountability, sustainability and efficiency. This means that
- Our Germany-based organization consists entirely of committed volunteers who receive no salary for their work for SEWA
- We execute all projects with the help of local businesses and in close cooperation with target communities
- We document all our projects and establish long term partnerships with the communities we serve
Our projects are financed through private donations by individuals, schools, charities and companies, as well as public funding.
Support us by giving us your voice!
SEWA is currently operating in Germany and Burkina Faso, which means that donations are only tax-deductable in these countries. However, you can support us by liking our Facebook page, which will help us expand our network!