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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Today’s child labor.

More than 150 million children are still suffering from child labor, depriving them of their childhood and educational opportunities. 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 labor. The solution to this problem, therefore, should aim to persuade their parents by supporting economic costs and aid values equal to or greater than the child labor wages so that parents stop sending their children to a workplace.

In Africa, the penetration rate of mobile phones across the continent is higher than 95 % despite the lack of electricity supply. People spend 10 to 20 percent of their monthly income on purchasing kerosene and charging mobile phone. If children bring electricity from school instead, the process can offset 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, such as cell phones, radios, flashlights, radios, action cams, even tablet PCs, etc. Usage time of each power bank was calculated with battery drainage 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.




02. Technology





03. Energy distribution impact





04. Education impact

Big impact with Small budget : CCT, Conditional Cash Transfer, pays cash to families if children come to the school and it has shown to be the most effective solution on treating social issues caused by poverty such as child labor. However it can give benefit only to very limited number of children because its cost increases linearly with time. To sponsor 1 student’s primary education CCT requires $1,080 ($15 x 12 months x 6years) while Solar Cow only needs 5%. Such drastic reduction of the cost is due to sustainable feature of solar energy. It only needs initial manufacturing and set-up cost: the sun will rise every day and deliver the energy for free.






Power of Innovation

Creative solutions based on love and dedication can result in real change.