Solar Sisters to the Rescue!
The internationally acclaimed Himalayan Light Foundation's Solar Sisters Program offers international travelers an incredible opportunity to transform what would otherwise be an average self-serving trek, into an effective way of offering real support to earthquake affected Nepal village families in their time of need. You can now offer your assistance by visiting some of the most majestic places in the world, live with some of the most hospitable peoples on our planet, while bringing relief by your donation and installation of a useful solar energy lighting system for the beneficiary families.
Who Are Solar Sisters and What Do They Do?
Solar Sisters are donor / volunteers who take real action to make the life of remote villagers easier by supplying much needed solar powered electric supply to schools, monasteries, health posts and community centers in Nepal. Solar Sisters can accomplish such support to the villages by actually traveling to Nepal and installing the systems they donate themselves or they can support from a distance from the comfort of their own homes while others install the actual systems at the sites.
Solar Sisters can be from any walk of life. Since there are many ways to participate, age is not a barrier.
What is required from a volunteer / donor to complete typical Solar Sisters Installation?
In the cases where Solar Sisters Donor / volunteers travel to Nepal to donate and install a solar power system, there are typically two costs. The first cost is the support for the system which is typically around US$1,500 and up depending on the site's requirements. In cases of larger requirements, systems are often installed in affordable sections or two or more donor / volunteers can come together to accomplish one larger system.
The second cost ifs the program participation fee which is currently US$750. This fee covers several elements related with your stay and experience in Nepal such as: 1. Initial hotel stay and food in Kathmandu during program orientation and preparation. 2. Basic solar system installation training at a local Nepal solar company, travel to the site, accommodation and food in the village, a guide supervisor for the village interactions and installation program.
How long are the average programs and are there any other activities to be done besides the installation for the village?
The average solar sisters program takes around ten days to two weeks. However, there are many ways to extend your stay in coordination with the HLF. SSP donor / volunteers are expected to help out in other ways such as by recording the experience with photos and videos and by writing and publishing on HLF social media and by sharing to their friends to increase Solar Sisters program outreach and effectiveness.
Solar Sisters for Earthquake Relief:
Solar Sisters is one of the only programs in Nepal which has been sustainably facilitating rural community development by installing donated solar electric systems in remote community-owned buildings. This year we have been transforming the parameters of this program and also gearing it directly towards earthquake affected families by providing small solar photovoltaic lighting systems for villages families who have lost their homes.
Each installation project is made possible by donor / volunteers like you who travel to Nepal and subsidize a solar electric system, participate in a training and installation course, followed by an actual field visit to the village where you install the systems yourself in one of the world’s most unique philanthropic engaged eco-tourism programs. Conversely, you can simply support this as a Solar Sister form your own home. Each donation of $450 provides one family with its own lighting system with cell phone charger. Smaller systems will soon be made available through Solar Sisters, and can be made available to a villager for less than $100.
In these volunteer programs, participants spend from one to two weeks in the field installing the solar electricity system in the beneficiary villages. Participants can work either in small teams in collaboration with local villagers and experienced renewable energy technicians or in some cases as an individual trek. During the program, tented village stays are arranged for volunteers and cultural exchanges are emphasized. Since the earlier stages of the Solar Sisters Program, more than 150 community centers, health posts, monasteries and schools in several districts of Nepal have been benefited by the program through the active philanthropy of the international solar sisters program volunteers.
Become a Solar Sister Volunteer Donor today. For more about program requirements, logistics, and to fill out the registration form click below.
If one is unable to come to visit one of our host Solar Sisters countries, benefactors like you can support an installation from afar. A single one-time donation of $1500 to the HLF Solar Sisters program can instantly make a 40 watt solar lighting system available
to a community center, school, health post, orphanage, monastery and or other religious and community gathering places. Lesser amounts can easily add up to the same system when combined with your friends or other donors.
When sufficient support is received the benefactor is training in the installation of the system. Typically a portion of the transportation of the system to the remote area location is also made available within the above amount as costs to reach these far away locations can often run very high.
SOLAR SISTER VOLUNTEER TESTIMOLNIALS
Here are just a few of the voices of Solar Sisters Volunteers concerning their Nepal SSP experiences:
"Oh my goodness….didn't we have such a great trip! The village stay was superb and we have met some lovely people. The group said the project was the highlight of their trip to Nepal…..and for me too. I feel like I cannot thank you enough ….and I really miss you! I know the village will get great use from the building ….. they were so proud! I was on such a high after the trip….we are very lucky to be a part of it."
"We had such an amazing trip, it is hard to express. We are very grateful to the village and our host familiar for looking after us so are very pleased that the system will really help them out."
"We installed a solar lighting system in a community building in Chimruk Besi, led by two villagers. We were welcomed and made to feel very comfortable in this delightful village. We worked hard and with lots of assistance we installed the system in one afternoon! Well done to all our eager helpers. We spent the rest of the evening joining in the celebrations of this strong and beautiful community. We were all well fed and accommodated, until our departure the next day. Banasthali Secondary School, draws students from many small villages, like this one, in the Gilung region."
Mr. Adam Merrick
Conservation Officer – Trust for Nature