This Nonprofit Brings Real Change to African Villages [Q&A]
Innovation: Africa is creating lasting change - one step at a time.
Social entrepreneur Sivan Ya’ari worked as a graduate student in Madagascar overseeing the manufacture of American designer jeans. There, she saw women and children spending hours each day carrying water and firewood to their homes, and began to understand the details of the daily challenges of Africans living in poverty. Fast forward eight years, and her brainchild - Innovation: Africa - has helped transform the lives of over one million people in rural African villages by providing electricity, clean water and vaccines - all with the help of solar power.
The organization has carried out over 120 projects across the African continent, bringing power to schools, orphanages, medical clinics and water pumping systems in Ethiopia, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
In this week’s 10 Good Questions Innovation: Africa’s Director of Communications Genna Brand explained what drives the organization, and how it brings innovation to some of the world’s most remote communities.
1. WHAT IS YOUR ORGANIZATION’S MISSION?
Bringing Israeli innovation to rural African villages.
2. WHAT MAKES YOU GUYS DIFFERENT FROM THE REST?
We are a dedicated team of innovative problem solvers. When our team of Israeli engineers travels to our projects to bring solar energy, access to water, light, medical care, refrigeration for medicines, and vaccines and drip irrigation technology, we are the first face of Israel - and a life-changing one. What we do is real, transparent, and thanks to our Israeli-developed Remote Monitoring Systems, we can assure our donors that their donations are impacting villages positively through our live data monitoring. The cost is minimal and the impact is tremendous.
3. WHAT THREE WORDS DESCRIBE YOUR ORGANIZATION?
Transparent, concrete, and efficient.
4. WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
The simplicity of making a difference in someone's life using a basic, easy and inexpensive solution.
5. WHO'S YOUR FAVORITE GOOD DOER FIGURE?
Golda Meir - Israel’s first (and only!) female Prime Minister.
6. WHAT IS THE BEST PART ABOUT YOUR JOB?
The ability to connect people with each other by benefiting and helping humanity - those that are able to give and those that are entrenched in the cycle of poverty but are deeply appreciative and grateful to be given the proper tools to lift themselves out of poverty.
7. HOW DO YOU MEASURE SUCCESS WITHIN YOUR ORGANIZATION?
By the number of people whose lives have been changed by having access to clean water and access to energy for the first time. People are more educated, healthier and financially independent.