A Jewish Heart for Africa Shines Its Jewish-American-Israeli Solar Lights During Hanukkah

jewish-heart-africa africa at night Picture an African village at night.

It is completely dark.

Look at the continent of Europe above (pictured left); and Africa below. Notice a stark difference?

In Africa, village children struggle to study and complete their homework by candlelight. The medical clinics are closed. Emergency surgeries and nighttime births are performed by the light of a leaking kerosene lamp, held close to patients’ open wounds. And there is no refrigerator. Without proper storage, children will go without vaccines for tuberculosis, measles and other preventable diseases.

But Israel has the power to help, says the Jewish Heart for Africa, a non-profit organization that uses sustainable Israeli technologies to facilitate African development.

Since its founding in 2008, the organization has completed 23 solar projects, powering African schools, medical clinics and water pumping systems in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda. They have provided 70,000 African people with electricity for education, clean water and medical care. 3,000 children have received vaccines stored in their solar powered refrigerators.

jewish-heart-africa-israel-us

Inspiration came to Sivan Borowich Ya’ari, founder of the organization, when she learned that 92% of rural African people live without electricity. A French-Israeli Jew, Ya’ari recognized a solution to be found in the solar panels that sit atop Israeli rooftops. After graduating with a Masters in International Energy Management and Policy from Columbia University and working for the United Nations Development Program, Borowich Ya’ari launched the first Jewish Heart for Africa projects and opened a US office. The goal would be to use Israeli technologies to provide critical aid to these underdeveloped areas, while also supporting Israel’s economy and promoting a positive image of Israel internationally.

Less than two years after the organization’s founding, Jewish Heart for Africa now has offices in NY, Israel and Africa. They have welcomed onto their advisory board Former Ambassador of Zambia Isaiah Chabala, and have built strong relationships with officials from the US, UN, Africa and Israel to further promote the potential of Israeli technologies in the developing world. They have also launched a new agricultural initiative, Project Agro, that uses Israeli drip irrigation techniques to fight hunger and promote economic growth.

Powering a school or medical clinic with Israeli solar technologies costs between $5,000 and $10,000. With 23 projects completed so far, Jewish Heart for Africa plans to double its impact and expand to three new countries in 2010.

According to Borowich Ya’ari, “it takes just $20 to provide one person in Africa with energy for life.”

This year, to celebrate Hanukkah, Jewish Heart for Africa launched its first annual “Light Up Africa Hanukkah Campaign.” Jewish Heart for Africa is asking people to donate the monetary equivalent of one night of Hanukkah to give the gift of light. The webpage also affords individuals the chance to send Hanukkah e-cards to family and friends.

“For these villages in Africa,” Ya’ari explains “every day should be a festival of lights.”

To learn more about Jewish Heart for Africa or to make a donation now, visit www.jhafrica.org.

5 thoughts on “A Jewish Heart for Africa Shines Its Jewish-American-Israeli Solar Lights During Hanukkah

  1. Nimbuka

    Before they invented the refrigerator the ancestors of these children lived and cured the diseases with traditional remedies, the children in this villages sleep at 7pm , so no need to study at night. They study all day.
    Be more specific about what you guys say because I am an African and when you guys say that you have a project in Africa, I understand that is all over Africa, which is not true.
    I see that the project is in small towns in certain countries with electricity already exists.

    Reply
  2. Ibrahim Yussif

    With much pleasure and honor I write to you and hope my message reaches you with much blessings.
    May you live long with healthy life always. May The Lord Almighty send His Angels of finish warmth coolest and good mood to add flavor to your day always,

    My name is Ibrahim Yussif a very respectful boy, I love being calm and jovial always, I do live in Ghana which is a country in West Africa. I am a boy living with a family of three sisters, two nieces and my mother. We all staying together. My father passed away in the year 2007 after suffering from body stroke for 3 years.

    I graduated my elementary stage education in the year 2006 but couldn’t further my education due to some obstacles but i have made my mind to let those obstacles stop me from pursuing my goal. I have since by that time been trying many ways to see whether i will get the opportunity to go back to school. I so luckily came across your page and i suggested to try here also to see whether i can any kind of help to help me go to school. Please if only you can help me then i am okay and if you can’t its okay. I don’t mean any harm. Thank you very much and may God bless you.

    Ibrahim Yussif

    Reply
  3. Pingback: Jewish Heart: Africa

  4. Pingback: Jewish Heart: Africa

  5. Pingback: greenprophet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 × 1 =

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>