Building on its Power the World initiative to bring solar lights to homes in Haiti, the Grammy-Award winning band Linkin Park has launched a new campaign to bring solar power to health clinics in Uganda and encouraging fans to sign a pledge to support Sustainable Energy For All.
With 1.3 billion people living without access to electricity, health care in energy-poor regions is severely compromised. Clinics and hospitals often function in the dark at night, or close their doors. Among those most affected are mothers in need of emergency obstetric care and their newborns. Most energy-poor regions, including Uganda, are at a crisis point in maternal and neonatal mortality.
To bring solar power to health clinics in Uganda, LinkinPark, through their non-profit organization Music for Relief, is working with We Care Solar, a nonprofit that designs and manufactures the Solar Suitcase, a high-efficiency solar energy system that fits in a carry-on suitcase. Designed for medical settings, the Solar Suitcase provides health workers with reliable lighting, mobile communication devices and power for medical devices. The suitcase is now used in 17 countries, including Uganda.
Linkin Park will be featuring the Solar Suitcase at upcoming concerts. The band is asking supporters to help pack a Solar Suitcase by making a gift of $10 or more by texting MFR to 85944, or by clicking the Donate button on the website. You can also give a gift on behalf of your mother for Mother’s Day and receive an e-card or PDF card to print out, letting her know that her gift is saving lives of mothers and newborns.
Additionally, the band, along with other artists and influencers, is asking supporters and people worldwide to sign a pledge in support of Sustainable Energy For All. The pledge will be available for digital signature at www.powertheworld.org. The goal is to get as many signatures as possible by June 19th, when Music for Relief will deliver it to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The more signatures received, the more voices will be heard by world leaders, multinational corporations, and civil society groups during the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, better known as Rio+20.
“The dark is no place to practice medicine,” said LinkinPark lead vocalist Mike Shinoda. “It’s unimaginable to think of a mother delivering in the dark, or having a C-section by the light of a cell phone, but that’s what’s happening. Solar power enables health workers to do the work they were trained to do. It allows women and babies to get the care they need…and survive childbirth.”
Reliable electricity is an often-overlooked intervention in the fight to reduce maternal mortality, said We Care Solar co-founder Dr. Laura Stachel, an obstetrician who since 2008 has researched maternal mortality in Africa. “Improved training, equipment, and medical supplies are all necessary to reduce maternal mortality,” said Dr. Stachel. “But health care workers can’t take full advantage of these interventions without reliable power.” She added, “Without power and light at night, mothers are dying from obstetric complications that are routinely treated in the United States.”
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About Music for Relief:
Founded by two-time Grammy winning/multi-platinum rock band LinkinPark, Music for Relief is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing aid to victims of natural disasters and the prevention of such disasters. Since its inception in 2005, Music for Relief has raised over $5 million for victims of multiple disasters across four continents including the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, hurricane Katrina, China’s Wenchuan earthquake, a cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe, the 2010 Haiti earthquake and the 2011 earthquake & tsunami inJapan. Music for Relief also supports environmental programs as a means of disaster risk mitigation including the planting of over 1 million trees to help reduce global warming. The organization was recently recognized by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon for the Download to Donate program to raise funds and awareness in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake. And in recognition of its humanitarian work, LinkinPark received a 2011 Global Leadership Award from the United Nations Foundation. For more information visit www.musicforrelief.org.
About Power the World:
Power the World is a pledge to help 1 million families gain access to sustainable energy solutions. Power the World operates under the umbrella of the band’s Music for Relief non-profit organization. Linkin Park and Music for Relief launched Power the World in November 2011 by asking supporters to donate to provide solar powered light bulbs to families in earthquake-ravaged Haiti. The new campaign accelerates LinkinPark’s commitment to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative. The initiative aims to ensure universal access to modern energy services, to double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency, and to double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix by 2030. For more information visit www.powertheworld.org
About We Care Solar:
We Care Solar (http://www.wecaresolar.org), a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization based in Berkeley, CA, aims to reduce maternal mortality by providing solar solutions for health facilities in areas without reliable electricity. We Care Solar designs and manufactures a complete solar electric system called the Solar Suitcase, creates educational programs, and conducts research on maternal health care. The Solar Suitcase is a portable, cost-effective solar energy system that powers critical lighting, mobile communication devices, and medical devices in low-resource areas without reliable electricity. We Care Solar has received research funding from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the BlumCenter for Developing Economies, and other foundations. We Care Solar won the 2011 Nokia Health Award at the Tech Awards in Silicon Valley, the Social Impact Award at the 2010 Global Social Venture Competition, the 2010 University of California at Berkeley Chancellor’s Award for Civic Engagement, the CBS Jefferson Award for Public Service, and the Ashoka Changemakers Award, among other honors.