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“Now I feel like a human being”: Impact assessment of Sirona Cares’ SunBlazer systems in Haiti | Energy Access Practitioner Network

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“Now I feel like a human being”: Impact assessment of Sirona Cares’ SunBlazer systems in Haiti

August 20, 2014

How did life change when un-electrified communities across Haiti accessed solar electricity for the first time? “Now I feel like a human being” was the answer from a Haitian villager who participated in an impact assessment study conducted by Sirona Cares across several villages in Haiti, where the non-profit has been working since 2010 to supply its solar charging station, SunBlazer.
Child with light-Sirona Cares
Photo Credit: Sirona Cares Foundation.
Showcasing improvements in life after the arrival of electricity in remote Haitian villages, the predominantly qualitative study which includes over 80 interviews and two focus groups across three villages in Southern Haiti illustrates tangible gains in quality of life indicators suc
h as education, health, economics, environment, and leisure and social relations. It also describes the ways in which these gains have positively transformed rural communities across Haiti.

Titled “Socio-economic impacts of solar electricity in rural Haiti“, the study co-authored by Laura Harrington and Amanda Larson of George Mason University’s Graduate School of Anthropology and Sociology, concludes that the success of Sirona Cares in Haiti affirms the economic viability of decentralized energy systems among low income communities.

Surprisingly modest amounts of electricity, the study finds, can bring great benefits to the everyday life of Haitians. Even enough electricity to power just two LED light bulbs and a flash light and a USB port to charge a cell phone fostered entrepreneurial growth and increased productivity. Villagers affirmed that clean lighting has made their lives healthier, increased opportunities for education by giving extended hours for study in the evenings, and improved well-being through greater opportunities for leisure.

Read the impact assessment study here.