StraightUp Tribe Helps We Care Solar


…Help Us Save Lives with CNN Hero Organization
WE CARE Solar…



In Sub-Saharan Africa, women face a 1 in 22 lifetime chance of dying in childbirth – not from rare diseases but from treatable medical conditions. Manywomen in rural Africa labor at home, and when complications arise, it can be difficult to reach a health center. For those who do, their difficulties may not beover. Women could wait hours for emergency care, such as an emergency c-section.  Often, the only way to reach a doctor is using a hospital messenger — a slow and unreliable means of emergency communication. Midwives, nurses, and doctors struggle to provide emergency obstetric care with inadequate infrastructure and resources. For those brave health providers, this may be the only available light…


WE CARE Solar is dedicated to solving the problems of inadequate and unreliable lighting and communication in health care settings in low-income countries. Co-founded by CNN Hero Dr. Laura Stachel and her solar entrepreneur husband Hal Aronson, WE CARE Solar is a non-profit based in Berkeley, CA.  WE CARE stands for Women’s Emergency Communication and Reliable Electricity and provides an innovative solar solution in a little yellow suitcase of power called the Solar Suitcase, designed by Aronson.  The suitcase is a robust, mobile, technologically simple and effective tool currently providing emergency lighting and charging for cell phones and radios in more than 25 low-income and medium-income countries.


we care solar kit

Shannon Fulton, Director of Illinois Business Development for StraightUp Solar, served as a WE CARE SolarAmbassador training midwives and solar technicians on the use of the Solar Suitcase in Eritrea (NE, Horn of Africa) inFebruary 2013 and will be part of another team heading to SW Uganda next month.  Fulton was drawn to WE CARE after reading about Esther Madudu’s daily challenge –Esther is a midwife in a health clinic in Uganda where the only source of light for nighttime deliveries was that of a cell phone held between her teeth.  Fulton believes “Esther is a hero on a daily basis,” and is committed to helping her and many more like her save lives using the power of the sun. StraightUp Solar wholeheartedly supports Fulton’s work and the mission of WE CARE solar and thanks its Solar Tribe for the generous donations that recently funded the construction and full implementation of a WE CARE Solar Suitcase.

“…Esther had been conducting nighttime deliveries

holding a cell phone in her teeth.”

January 23, 2012, WECARE Solar Field Note

WE CARE recognizes that technology alone is not enough. From the very beginning, health worker training of the type Fulton is performing was an important component of their programs. Not only are health workers trained, but the children and community members receive their very first exposure to electricity.  And how wonderful that their first experience with electricity is solar-powered!


Stay tuned for solar life-saving stories from Uganda, where 76% of the population lives on less than 2 dollars a day and nearly 1 million children are orphans due to AIDS.