On the way to gather with our church this morning, I heard a great story on the radio about WE CARE Solar (Women’s Emergency Communication And Reliable Electricity). Their motto is, “Saving mothers’ lives with solar-powered light and communication.”

WE CARE was founded by Dr. Laura Stachel, an obstetrician, and her husband Hal Aronson, a solar power engineer.  Maternal mortality accounts for half a million deaths worldwide each year, of which 99% occurs in underdeveloped countries.  Proper medical/surgical care is greatly impeded by a lack of reliable electricity to power lighting, equipment and communications.

Dr. Stachel and her husband developed a “solar suitcase” that can provide much-needed electrical power to fulfill their mission, which is to promote “safe motherhood and reduce maternal mortality in developing regions by providing health workers with reliable lighting, mobile communication, and blood bank refrigeration using solar electricity.”

The “solar suitcase” powers two overhead LED lighting, charges walkie-talkies and cell phones, and includes LED headlamps that come with their own rechargeable batteries. The first deployment of these systems occurred in June 2009. Now these systems have been introduced in nine countries. Most recently, we were asked to send solar suitcases to Haiti, where they are being used by medical relief teams and maternity clinics.

A donation to WE CARE could make a fantastic Mother’s Day gift this year!