Liberian Energy Network

According to the Liberian Government and World Bank, no one in Liberia has access to dependable electricity. After 14 years of civil war, Liberia is one of the poorest countries in the world and cannot achieve a decent standard of living for its people without access to energy. The Liberian Energy Network's mission is to provide clean, sustainable, and affordable solar lights to the population of Liberia. Using a "business at the base of the economic pyramid" model for development, LEN will provide one Liberian with access to basic electrical energy for every one dollar raised by LEN. LEN's short-term goal is to ship and distribute at least 100,000 solar lights to Liberia in ...

Liberian Energy Network
58 Camino Nevoso
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505
United States
505-595-1639
http://lightingliberia.org

Board of Directors

Richard Fahey, Robert Saudek, Suzanne Fahey, Abubakar Sherif

Mission

According to the Liberian Government and World Bank, no one in Liberia has access to dependable electricity. After 14 years of civil war, Liberia is one of the poorest countries in the world and cannot achieve a decent standard of living for its people without access to energy. The Liberian Energy Network's mission is to provide clean, sustainable, and affordable solar lights to the population of Liberia. Using a "business at the base of the economic pyramid" model for development, LEN will provide one Liberian with access to basic electrical energy for every one dollar raised by LEN. LEN's short-term goal is to ship and distribute at least 100,000 solar lights to Liberia in the next five years, which will provide solar lighting to approximately 500,000 Liberians or 15% of the country's population. LEN's long-term goal is to make Liberia the first country in the world whose energy is provided predominately by solar power.

Programs

With none of Liberia's population having access to reliable electrical energy, the lights distributed by LEN are transforming the country by providing: Lighting for hospitals, clinics and midwives to allow them to deliver critical medical services at night; Lighting for small businesses and market women to extend their hours of business into the evening; Lighting for farmers to allow them to work into the evening hours Lighting for traditional fishermen who fish at night and need lights to increase their harvests; Lighting Liberians' homes for the first time with safe, affordable and reliable power; Charging cell phones costs Liberians nearly one-quarter of their annual gross income, and with the introduction of solar lights that charge cell phones those costs are eliminated, freeing those funds to be used for food, health, education and other basic needs. LEN has established a network of existing healthcare, educational, religious and job-training organizations in Liberia with whom LEN partners to disseminate solar lights throughout the country. LEN has also opened a retail establisment in a busy retail area of Monrovia, the capital city. LEN is currently disseminating lights through: The Ganta Methodist Mission Hospital to light their hospital wards and provide midwives with lights for child deliveries at night; Advancing Youth Project, a program that trains former boy soldiers, to light their facilities which conduct classes primarily in the evenings, and also to provide lights for a program ("Business in a Bag") to train their students to become entrepreneurs by sellling solar lights in their communities; Students from elementary schools through universities to allow them to study at night; Businesses to allow them to operate after the sun goes down, including town markets, and street vendors; Fishermen who fish at night and currently use expensive, low quality flashlights to provide needed light. Workers at the Firestone Rubber Plantation to provide them with light for their homes and schools. LEN's Liberian operation is staffed entirely by Liberians, including a Liberian chief executive officer with a small staff in Liberia, a retail store in Monrovia, and active, ongoing outreach affiliations with numerous Liberian organizations that are acquiring and helping to distribute solar lights to their constituents. LEN has shipped and is distributing 800 lights to Liberia from late 2011 through the first part of 2012, with additional shipments planned for the second half of 2012. In addition to distributing the solar lights, LEN has established a program of parts and repair services to maintain the lights. In early 2012 LEN was selected by the World Bank and the Liberian Rural Renewable Energy Agency to participate in the World Bank's Lighting Africa program to spread solar lighting throughout Africa. This program provides financial and logistical support to LEN. In 2012 LEN was also selected by the Harvard Business School to be the subject of a Business School case study, focusing on how to successfully organize a social enterprise that will provide clean and affordable energy sources to countries in severe need, using a financially self-sustaining economic model. LEN sells the solar lights that it brings to Liberia at a break-even price, putting all revenue back into the program to purchase its next shipments of lights and grow the organization on the ground in Liberia. . The genesis of the Liberian Energy Network (LEN) was a meeting of LEN's founder, Richard Fahey, with the President of Liberia, Ellen Sirleaf Johnson, in 2009. The solar light distribution plan was then researched and developed throughout 2010 and 2011 by Richard Fahey and Robert Saudek as Fellows at Harvard's Advanced Leadership Initiative (ALI), with focus groups in Liberia testing the best ways to achieve distribution and absorption of the lights throughout Liberia. Over the 3-1/2 year period since 2009 LEN has gone from an inspiration arising from Richard Fahey's meeting with the President of Liberia, to a well-researched and tested plan developed over two years at Harvard's ALI, to a well-organized program that is now shipping and distributing solar lights in Liberia through local partner organizations and its retail establishment. LEN has already made a huge difference to the people of Liberia.

Statistics on Liberian Energy Network