Solar Village Project Newsletter

Upcoming Projects In Senegal

In February 2017 SVP will implement eight projects in Senegal, bringing light and power to over 2000 people. Board members Mike Varhola and Makhatar Drame have been hard at work planning for this substantial expansion just one year after SVP’s first project in Senegal. Such a big increase in the number of villages being served has been made possible by the thorough research, analysis and testing of solar lights by SVP’s technical experts. Through their efforts SVP has identified new solar units available for purchase directly from manufacturers, allowing for a significant reduction in costs. This will allow SVP to reach more villages AND distribute more lights per home than ever.

Upcoming Projects In India
In the Spring of 2017 SVP will once again implement projects in India. Utilizing the same cost effective solar units as in the upcoming Senegal projects, SVP plans to implement two to three village projects in India, reaching another 2,000 people there. SVP board member and technical expert Shyam Mehrotra is currently in India and will finalize the SVP registration process in Bihar state, which will help facilitate our planned expansion this coming spring.

Past Project Updates For Senegal
SVP’s newest Senegal project team member El Hadj Ibrahim has been busy communicating with Mustapha, SVP’s local manager in Senega in order to prepare for the upcoming projects and to get detailed reports on the current status of the Cisse Masse Solar Village Project. According to Mustapha the people of Cisse Masse continue to benefit and utilize their solar units and the project has had a profound effect on daily life in the village. Mustapha has also reported that a few of the solar power systems had stopped working but were quickly repaired under warranty by the distributor, and all the units are functioning properly.

Past Project Updates For India
In India SVP board member and local manager Sunil Sharma reports that all three villages SVP has worked with continue to benefit from their access to electricity. The villagers consistently report that they no longer rely on kerosene for lighting, the children spend more time studying, and all the villagers feel safer at night. The solar power systems provided by both D Light and Bottom of the Pyramid (B.O.P.) continue to prove that the most cost effective solution is also the most sustainable. L.E.D. lights in conjunction with Lithium Ion batteries for power storage have proven to be the gold standard when it comes to energy access for the 2,000 people we’ve reached in India so far.

Planned Collaborations
– Salvation Army
SVP has a number of planned collaborations for the future. One of the most exciting is with The Salvation Army. In Washington D.C. they have a program called the “Grate Patrol” which distributes food and clothing to homeless people in the district. SVP has been in contact with The Salvation Army and will be working with them to distribute solar lights through that program in Washington D.C. This will be SVP’s first domestic project, with a plan to distribute 500 solar lights within the city.

– Chez Dior Restaurant
Mamadou Fall, owner/proprietor of Chez Dior, a Senegalese restaurant located in Hyatsville, Maryland will be hosting SVP’s first ever fundraising dinner on December 11, 2016.
50% of all the proceeds from the fundraising dinner will go to SVP. Find out more here.

– Engineers Without Borders
The University Of Maryland Chapter of EWB has expressed an interest in collaborating with SVP to initiate much needed water pumping and sanitation projects in SVP project villages. EWB representatives have taken steps in the pre-project approval process and hope to do the initial project survey and assessment in the summer of 2017.

Fundraising Updates
SVP’s fundraiser for the upcoming Senegal projects has been extremely successful with almost $12,000 raised so far. The funds raised have been used to purchase 2,300 solar lights for the February 2017 Senegal projects. This means that on average every home will receive 1 primary light that includes a cell phone charger and an FM radio, and 4 supplemental lights.

Over the summer SVP received a generous grant from The Island Foundation for $4500.
– $1800 has been set aside for the Senegal projects
– $1800 has been set aside for the India projects
– $900 was used for SVP’s new website

The holiday shopping season now in full swing! For those of you who shop on Amazon, please “shop with a smile” and support Solar Village Project with every purchase at http://smile.amazon.com/ch/47-1884355

SVP will launch another fundraiser in the early spring of 2017 to raise funds for the next round of projects in India. Because we will bring light to three villages and a total population of over 2000 people, an ambitious fund-raising goal of $15,000 has been set.

In light of the holiday season and in the spirit of Giving Tuesday, SVP supporters are invited to contribute today to help those less fortunate. For anyone who would like to contribute to SVP securely online via Paypal just click here

For anyone wishing to contribute via check made out to Solar Village Project mail it to 4406 Olando Lane, Bowie MD 20715.

Receipts for donations made during the 2016 calendar year will be sent to you in January 2017, and will include any donations still made in December 2016.

Happy Holidays!

Joe Kselman, Director, SVP