Len News

June 2016 - Phebe Hospital update - one year later:  Since June, 2015, the 1 KW Gridless Core solar powered system LEN installed at Phebe Hospital in Bong County, Liberia has been providing continuous uninterrupted power to the hospital’s two operating theaters, powering the lighting system and critical life support equipment. Because of prohibitive costs, the hospital can only run its diesel powered electrical generator four hours a night. Before the installation of the Gridless unit that meant lifesaving operations either could not be performed during the night or surgeons had to operate using flashlights. Now the operating theaters are available for use 24 hours a day and life support equipment is available whenever it is needed regardless of whether the rest of the hospital has electricity supplied by its diesel generator or not.

June 2016 - LEN provides solar LED security lighting to LIBR to prevent bioterrorism:   LEN is working with the Albuquerque, New Mexico based Sandia National Laboratories’ (SNL), International Biological and Chemical Threat Reduction Program, which is supported by the US Department of State Biological Engagement Programs to provide and install solar powered LED area security lighting, and maintain the systems, as part of efforts to enhance the physical security for the Liberian Institute for Biomedical Research (LIBR). LIBR was established in the 1970’s as a center for primate research on a number of tropical viral diseases, including Ebola and Lasa Fever, and fell into disrepair during the 14 years of civil war in Liberia. In 2014 LIBR was suddenly drawn into the front lines of the battle against the deadly Ebola virus, performing critical tests for patients and researching the nature and possible cures for the disease. Because of its critical role in the response to the Ebola epidemic a crash program was instituted by international health and security agencies to upgrade the facilities research capacities and secure the site to protect it from bioterrorists. A critical element to improving site security in June and July, 2016 LEN undertook the installation of reliable off-grid solar powered area lighting around the perimeter of the facility.

March 2016 - School children in rural Gbopolu country receive solar lights:
In March, 2016 LEN partnered with One Million Lights and Servant Leadership Program,Inc. to provide 500 lights to school children in one of the most rural areas of Liberia, Gbopolu County. This was the first installment of a program with a goal of providing 6,000 lights to the students and teachers in Gbopolu County. One Million Lights is part of the World of Color non-profit organization based in Palo Alto, California. Whose mission it is to improve the daily lives of children and adults in rural parts of the World. Servant Leadership Program,Inc. is a Liberian NGO supporting rural school enrollment and enhancing the delivery of quality education in the rural communities across Gbopolu, County.

February 2016 - LEN receives grant to expand Firestone Plantation Lighting Project:   One of LEN's principal goals is to create a social enterprise in Liberia which is self-supporting and sustainable. In 2012 LEN in Liberia was registered as a non-profit corporation entirely run and staffed by Liberians, under the leadership of Abubakar K. Sherif. Recognizing the success of the Liberian staff, In February, 2016, the United States African Development Foundation (USADF) awarded LEN in Liberia a $100,000 grant to allow it to fully implement the initiative to provide access to light to the 10,000 rubber tappers living and working on the Firestone Plantation. The grant will permit LEN to purchase the initial inventory of off-grid solar lights in partnership with the Liberian Rural Renewable Development Agency and distribute them on an installment payment plan through the Firestone Agricultural Workers’ Union of Liberia (FAWUL) payroll check off plan.

June 2015 - Founder, Rich Fahey awarded Point of Light Award:   LEN founder, Rich Fahey was selected by the Point of Light Foundation, started by Former President Gorges H. W. Bush, as a recipient of its Point of Light Award.

May 2015 - LEN participates in Univeristy of Santa Clara GBSI Online Program:   LEN was selected as one of 22 worldwide social enterprises to participate in the Univeristy of Santa Clara GBSI Online Program which provides mentoring and consultation over a six month period to help move promising businesses serving the base of the economic pyramid consumers from the early start up stages of growth to reach full scale operations.

September 2014 - LEN donated 300 lights for Ebola crisis:   LEN donated 300 lights to the Liberian Ministry of Health during the Ebola crisis for distribution to health care providers treating patients in Ebola Treatment Centers throughout Liberia. While many other groups left Liberia during the crisis, LEN's all Liberian staff continued to serve their customers throughout the epidemic, focusing their efforts on providing light to allow patients to needed receive care around the clock.

June 2014 - LEN selected an original partner for Power Africa Initiative:   The US Government selected LEN to be one of 27 original partners for President Obama’s Power Africa Initiative, Beyond the Grid”, the only one working in Liberia. “Beyond the Grid will help to expand the work of the U.S. Government is already doing through Power Africa to bring electricity to citizens of sub-Saharan Africa,” said U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “With close to 600 million people without access to modern-day electricity, it is clear that centralized grid access is not a comprehensive solution for these countries in one of the world’s least urban continents. But through solution including off-grid and small scale energy projects, we can bring electricity to these rural areas.”

Summer 2014 - Barrack Obama School:   Len donated 250 d.light S2 solar lights to the Barrack Obama School in Paynesville so that each child in the school has their own reading light. LEN President Abubakar K. Sherif presented the lights to the students at a special assembly which was the subject of a news story on the Monrovia television evening news These lights permit the children to study in the eveing and also introduce their families to the benefits of solar light technology.

April 2014 - LEN Awarded National Energy Globe Award for Liberia:   LEN was awarded the National Energy Globe Award Liberia, as one of 120 out of over 2,000 projects world wide working to protect and provide for a sustainable environment. LEN is featured as part of the June 5, 2014 UN World Environment Day and is reliable to be considered for the World Energy Globe Award, one of todays most prestigious environmental awards.

March 2014 - LEN partners with Mercy Corps Liberia:   LEN partnered with Mercy Corps Liberia to begin a pilot program to train young women entrepreneurs to market solar lights throughout Liberia as part of the LEN network. Mercy Corps focus its efforts in Liberia in two key areas: financial services and last mile distribution. After completing basic literacy and business training the young women entrepreneurs will serve an internship and further training in the basics of solar voltaic technology with LEN. Upon successfully completion their training the newly minted solar entrepreneurs will join the LEN network as independent sales agents.

February 2014 - LEN Partners with Largest Labor Union in Liberia:LEN and FAWUL  LEN entered into an agreement with the Firestone Agricultural & Workers’ Union of Liberia (FAWUL) to distribute solar lights to its 7,000 members working as rubber tappers on the one million acre Firestone Plantation centered in Harbel, Liberia. The workers live in “camps” with company furnished housing without electricity. The agreement was signed in February, 2014 and within 45 days 2,000 lights had been distributed by FAWUL. Working with LEN, FAWUL was able to implement an innovative financing system which allowed workers to purchase the light in installments which are withheld from their monthly pay, making the lights affordable to all of its members. FAWUL, by partnering with LEN was able to earn a commission from every lights sold to support the Union and its efforts to organize and represent the plantation workers in labor matters with Firestone. It also built good will and support amongst its members by providing them with basic light and phone chargers to improve their lives and save money.

Winter 2014 -  LEN extended its agreement with the Liberian Rural Renewable Energy Agency to participate in their pilot program, in association with the World Bank, to bring the benefits of solar light to the rural areas of the Country.

Winter 2014 -  LEN has expanded its existing partnership with Save The Children to provide solar lighting products to all of the health clinics and schools operated by Save The Children throughout Liberia. This will include providing each of the rural health workers with a light and phone charger which will allow them to conduct medical procedures at night in the rural villages they visit, and to keep their cell phones charged so they can communicate with medical staff in the clinics.

October 2013 - Voice of America Interview:   LEN Founder Rich Fahey was interviewed by the Voice of America, Africa Service following the presentation of the LEN Business Plan at the WAFCEF Conference in Accra, Ghana.

October 2013 - WAFCEF Business Competition Finalist:   LEN was selected as a semifinalist in the West Africa Forum for Clean Energy Financing (WAFCEF) Business Plan competition. LEN’s business plan was selected, after two rounds of judging, as a finalist to be showcased and presented to the WAFCEF conference held in October, 2013 in Accra, Ghana. The conference attracts more than 100 investors and funding organizations from around the World to hear from entrepreneurs with promising clean energy projects in West Africa.

June 2013 - LEN Opens First Rural Retail/Distribution Shop: retail store  In June, 2013 LEN partnered with David Keckula and build him a retail store and storage/distribution center near his home and on a major highway into the interior of Liberia. This new location will better serve the customers in the area. This project will serve as a pilot for LEN to develop a standard branded model for other retail outlets and storage/distribution centers to be supplied to its partners throughout Liberia.

Back in early 2012, David Keckula became one of LEN’s first retailers. Starting with three lights and a bag to carry them in, David began selling solar lights and charges in his town of Weala in Margibi County on the border with Bong County
in the Liberian interior. Since then, David has successfully grown his business, partnering with his son, and he now employs several agents in Margibi and
Bong County.

Summer 2013 - Solar Lights for US Peace Corps Volunteers:   LEN recently donated solar lights and chargers to the US Peace Corps Volunteers serving in the rural areas of Liberia as Secondary School teachers. Every Peace Corps residence now has a solar light to help the Volunteers with their work tutoring students in the evening and preparing their lessons for classroom instructions. Before LEN provided the lights the Volunteers were using candles and kerosene lights to work at night. In addition to the lights, the donated solar lanterns also charge cell phones allowing the Volunteers to more easily remain in communications with Peace Corps Staff and other support services to assist them in carrying out their teaching responsibilities.

Summer 2013 - Solar LIghts Study:   William and Mary senior honor student, Will Smith worked with LEN to conduct the first study on the benefits of solar lighting on a commercial sector of the Liberian economy. Will conducted a series of interviews and scientific studies on how the use of solar lighting impacted the Kru and Fanti fishermen of Liberia. The study measured the impact of access to reliable solar lights on the lives and businesses of the fishermen who fish at night using traditional canoes along the Liberian coast. One of his findings was that not only did reliable and affordable solar lights improve the fishermen’s catches, but it improved their safety because they were more visible to the ocean going ships which ply the shipping lanes where they fish.

Dec 2012:   LEN is now working with the international NGO, Save The Children, one of the largest providers of maternal and child healthcare in Liberia, to provide solar lights at each of their 150 clinics; and solar lanterns to each of their nurse/midwife healthcare workers who provide life saving medical services in the most remote areas of the Liberian interior.

September 2012:   LEN is the subject of a case study by the Harvard Business School: "Advanced Leadership Pathways: Richard Fahey and Robert Saudek - Lighting Liberia."

Fall 2012:   LEN has been selected to be a nonprofit recipient by One Percent for the Planet, which is a global movement of more than 1,000 companies that donate 1% of their sales to a net work of more than 3,000 approved organizations worldwide which are contributing to the protection of the environment.

July 2012:   LEN Opens Monrovia Retail Outlet: Len moved to a new facility in the Liberian capital of Monrovia. The new facility houses LEN’s offices and warehouse as well as a showroom and retail outlet. It is located on Mechlin Street near Waterside Market in the heart of Monrovia's thriving comercial district.

March 2012:   LEN selected to partner with Liberian Rural Renewable Energy Agency(RREA) as part of the World Bank’s program to spread solar lighting throughout Africa.

girl with liberty 2 light