Sparking Development

Sparking Development

9 March, 2016
Madagascar's Solar Kiosks
HERi Brightens Up Futures With Affordable, Renewable Energy
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Electricity has changed our lives – that fact is undeniable. According to the World Bank, around 1.1 billion people are still living without access to safe, reliable electricity, the majority being in Africa and Asia. As a result, many communities do not have access to simple electrical products and services and are forced to depend on inefficient, dangerous and unhealthy power supplies.
 
HERi, a social enterprise in Madagascar, is working to bring new light to these rural communities by offering renewable and affordable energy solutions in the form of sustainable, solar-powered kiosks. Founded in 2012 by Junte Wasmann, Fafah Vonintsoa Mahafahatra and Zafi Rasoloheritsimba, HERi set out to build a socially conscious business transforming the way energy is accessed and sparking economic development with a financially sustainable and locally responsible business model. 
 
To date, HERi have 19 operational solar kiosks all built, operated, managed and maintained by local members of the community. The stand-alone buildings house a range of electrical goods and appliances, which are charged via solar panels on the roof and available for local individuals to purchase, rent or pay to use. The kiosks are designed to meet the needs of both the local community and local businesses by providing flexible payment options and adaptability in terms of available products. While they offer basic necessities such as lamps and phone chargers, some offer additional items such as printers or electric razors depending on local demand.
 
HERi kiosks not only play a functional role in communities, their bright exterior and design attracts attention and facilitates increased awareness and understanding of solar technology. These solar kiosks offer a place for people to meet, a center of commerce and information exchange, whilst paving the way for development of renewable energy sources in Madagascar and fueling community and economic development.
 
The provision of renewable energy in the form of electricity is only the start, HERi consider it the “spark” for better businesses, new ideas and shared success. With their motto “together we grow,” it is their goal to support and empower communities with accessible, affordable electricity so they can harness this power and use it for growth.
 

By: Tessa Friend
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