Capitalizing on the technology that one country in the world has to offer another thousands of miles away, is exactly why Associate Executive Director Rachel Ishofsky “changes” for Jewish Heart for Africa (JHA).
Rachel has “always been a strong believer in the need for infrastructure development in the developing world, and Jewish Heart for Africa does exactly that. We bring light to schools, electricity to medical clinics, use solar power to pump clean water from underground and irrigation systems to improve local agriculture.”
In adapting Israeli solar technology for use in Africa, JHA supports the Israeli economy by purchasing its solar technology models to save African lives. Having opened their offices only in 2008, JHA works with partners in Israel and in Africa to channel their resources and expertise in the most sustainable way. Their state of the art website directs visitors through an interactive explanation of how their organization operates, with 100% of donations going directly towards funding projects in Africa. As JHA continues to engage more donors and to expand its number of projects, they still manage to personalize the stories of their beneficiaries.
Rachel’s “most memorable moment working for JHA was the night I spent at Kaliro Orphanage, Uganda. It took us five hours to get there by car, driving along dirt roads in a van crowded with both bags and people. We had just gotten off the plane from Ethiopia, and were at the end of what had become a very long trip (http://bit.ly/96gRKy). But suddenly we were out of the car and surrounded by children. It was nighttime--and for the first time, they had light.
“Our solar panels had just been installed there the week before. The orphans were running around, playing, and groups of them were studying together in classrooms lit by our solar powered bulbs. They were doing their homework.
“There was a small boy there named Allan (http://bit.ly/d0PE92). Both his parents died of AIDS, and he has already been living at the orphanage for three years. For over half of his short and underprivileged life, Allan has been going to bed each night alone and in the dark.
“But that night, as our team of three helped to tuck in the kids, I watched another child crawl into his bed, and together, they read a bedtime story.
“It's moments like these that remind you how much a single lightbulb really can brighten a life.”
In addition to projectsol, JHA’s solar power technology project, and projectagro, JHA’s initiative to use innovative Israeli agricultural practices to make agriculture sustainable even in regions of drought, JHA plans to “more than double the 70,000 African people that our work reached in 2009. We will expand to three new countries and see the completion of our first agricultural projects.
JHA has “also launched the Pilot Eco Village Program--a combination of a solar powered school, medical clinic, water pumping system, and drip irrigation technologies, all in a single village. These projects will simultaneously revolutionize the education, health and wealth of an entire community. And that's all just the beginning.”
Thanks, Rachel, for “enlightening” us with Jewish Heart for Africa’s innovative initiatives.
Please visit jhasol.org to learn more.
(Jewish Heart for Africa brings Israeli solar technology to rural African villages.)