Pro Bono Projects Innovation: Africa — Bringing Water and Electricity to Rural African Villages By India August 15, 2022 Share Share Copy Link Here at MyHeritage we are passionate about the power of innovation to make people’s lives better. We wanted to tell you about an initiative we believe is important and we are proud to support, Innovation: Africa. Learn about the mission of Innovation: Africa in the video below, and continue reading for more details: Innovation: Africa — The Gift of Giving A smile spread across the children’s faces as they switched on a light for the first time. At that moment, Sivan Ya’ari, the founder and CEO of Innovation: Africa, knew that their lives would be changed forever. The Kidigozero Health Center is located in the Bagamoyo region of Tanzania. This center provided medical care to nearly 7,000 people and was in dire condition when Sivan first visited it. According to Sivan, “Mothers were forced to deliver their babies in the dark, guided only by the dim light from candles, and hundreds of patients were there waiting, but unable to receive the lifesaving medicines and care they required.” As Sivan witnessed this, she was moved with compassion and felt a huge responsibility to help the community. But how? “Sometimes the source of the problem is also the source of the solution — the sun, causing drought across Africa, is also the key to transforming their reality for the better,” says Sivan. Sivan meets with developers in Tanzania to construct a solar-water pumping system, bringing clean water to the entire community. (click to zoom) Through the incredible efforts of Innovation: Africa, a non-profit that brings Israeli solar, water, and agricultural technologies to rural African villages, they successfully installed the first set of solar panels the community had ever seen. These solar panels provided the electricity that the health center needed to function. Sivan was filled with immense joy to personally witness the doctors and patients see the bright light from a lightbulb for the first time. This was the first of many life-changing projects that Innovation: Africa took on. Capturing the power of the sun to change lives The women of Chisulo Village in Zambia used to wake up at 3:00 in the morning and walk over 8 kilometers to reach the water source. Today they have a solar-water pumping system to provide water to their community. (click to zoom) Sivan Ya’ari is passionate about technology and its ability to change the world. Growing up in Israel, also known as the “Innovation Nation,” she witnessed first-hand the power of innovation and its ability to improve people’s lives. Today, she holds a master’s degree in International Energy Management and Policy from Columbia University and has previously been named one of the “50 Most Influential Women in Israel” by Forbes. However, it was her first trip to Africa in 2008 that truly inspired her and led her to found Innovation: Africa, an organization that is working to bring Israeli technological innovations to Africa. Today, her organization includes 112 people in Israel and throughout Africa who initiate and supervise all their projects. Sivan explains, “My first experience in Africa took place while I was working for Jordache Jeans in Madagascar. I grew up as what I considered to be poor, but that is where I truly understood what poverty meant. I was overwhelmed and shocked by what I saw. So many villagers were unwell from consuming contaminated water, unable to receive medical care, medicines, or vaccines, and women were waiting to give birth at night, guided only by candlelight and harmful kerosene lamps. Having seen solar panels on almost every rooftop in Israel, I knew there was a simple solution to this and I had to act. And that’s when it started, providing solar energy to a health center and then proceeding village by village, bringing light to medical centers, then to schools, and now, crucially, using solar energy to pump clean water.” Watch a Ted Talk by Sivan Ya’ari here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfgAexR5Z2w What is the impact of Innovation: Africa? A solar-water pumping system being installed in a village in Zambia (click to zoom) Over 620 million people in sub-Saharan Africa lack electricity and, as a result, have no means of obtaining safe and clean water. Incredibly, Innovation: Africa has provided solar energy and light to schools and medical centers and crucially, for pumping clean water in remote villages. This organization has impacted over 3.4 million people across 10 African countries including Uganda, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, South Africa, Eswatini, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, and Senegal. Since their establishment in 2008, they have completed over 700 projects! Map of Innovation: Africa operations (click to zoom) By providing access to clean water, villagers can improve their health, send their children to school, and start businesses. This increased economic stability helps to break the cycle of poverty and provides hope for a better future. An explanation of Innovation: Africa’s project management system (click to zoom) How to be a part of the change A young boy in Tanzania enjoys fresh water provided by a solar-water pumping system installed in his village by Innovation: Africa (click to zoom) MyHeritage believes in the mission of Innovation: Africa, which is to use modern innovations to make the world a better place. We are honored to support their work and encourage others to do the same. If you would like to donate or get involved and help them, please visit Innovation: Africa’s website where you can also learn more about their important work. Every donation goes directly towards providing clean water, solar energy, and other life-changing projects. Hopefully, just like MyHeritage is doing, you can help spread the word about Innovation: Africa so that they could gain more support to accelerate their amazing mission.