Crowd funding for Solar Cow.
Solar Cow combats child labor by rewarding parents electricity for sending their children to school.
Families living in poverty in rural areas of developing countries face multiple challenges, including education and energy access. Even where schooling is available, parents living in poverty often feel pressured to send their children to work rather than school, in order to boost their household income. According to the International Labor Organization, around 152M children worldwide were engaged in child labor in 2019. In addition, many rural households are not connected to the national electricity grids. Some dedicate up to 20% of their income on energy, often in the form of using polluting kerosene for lighting or 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 of 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 classes, which they can take to their homes right after the school ends. This affordable, clean and sustainable power source also creates an immediate and tangible incentive for parents to send their children to school. Solar Cow can also help power digital devices to improve children’s access to digital education tools. This is especially useful for rural schools of developing countries that often lack educated teachers.
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Child labour today.
More than 150 million children are still suffering from child labour, depriving them of their childhood and educational experiences. The Solar Cow project aims to prevent this serious problem and provide educational opportunities. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO) report, poverty is one of the most likely causes of child labour. The solution to this problem, therefore, should aim to persuade the parents to choose a school instead of workplace by supporting their economic costs and providing value equal to or greater than the child labour wages.
In Africa, the penetration rate of mobile phones across the continent is higher than 95 % despite the lack of electricity supply. People spend 10-20% of their monthly income on purchasing kerosene and charging mobile phone. If children brought electricity from school instead, the process can offset the expenses on charging phones as well as prevent child labour.
01. Components of Solar Cow.
- Use of Solar Cow’s Power Bank (2900mA)
The power bank can charge all devices rechargeable by USB cable via the USB port on the bottom of the battery: cell phones, radios, flashlights, radios, action cams, even tablet PCs, etc. Usage time of each power bank was calculated by taking battery draining in consideration. The power bank can only be charged through the Solar Cow, as it uses a custom charging pin which prevents mis-allocation and theft.
03. Energy distribution impact
Crowd funding for Solar Cow.