Solar Cow combats child labor by rewarding parents electricity for sending child to school.
Families living in poverty in rural areas in developing countries face multiple challenges, including on education and energy. Even where schooling is available, parents living in poverty often face pressure to send their children to work rather tnan to class in order to boost their household income. According to the International Labor Organization, there are around 152M children in the world engaging in child labor in 2019. In addition, many rural households are not connected to national electricity grids. Some pay up to 20% of their income on energy, often in the form of polluting kerosene for lighting or for phone charging from diesel-powered charging kiosks.
To help tackle both of these problems, YOLK installs Solar Cow charging systems in schools to provide energy to students’ families and encourage parents to send their kids to class. Solar Cows comprise solar panels, storage batteries and charging stations for the portable batteries, which are known as “Power Milk”. Each student is given a Power Milk battery to charge while they attend class, which they then take home to their families at the end of each school day. This affordable, clean and sustainable power source also creates and immediate and tangible incentive for parents to send their children to school. Solar Cow can also help power digital devices to help children access digital education tools. This is especially useful in rural schools in developing countries. which often lack quality teachers.
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