Western Union is one of the leading money transfer providers the Haitian diaspora use to send money to family members and friends in Haiti. Thanks to a new initiative, it will now also be a source of renewable energy.
At a press conference in Little Haiti Monday, Western Union and SogeExpress, a Western Union agent and Haiti-based money transfer agency, unveiled two solar power kits that will be available for purchase for people in Haiti.
The project, called Klere Ayiti, will sell unites for $140 and $180. Kits include a solar panel, detachable lights and a power outlet to charge small electrical devices, such as cell phones.
Stephanie Foster, Western Union’s senior regional manager for the Caribbean, says the solar kits provide a sustainable option for electricity in Haiti where power is often spotty and inconsistent.
"The basis is to leverage remittances to send sustainable clean energy to the people of Haiti," she says. "Access to electricity is a big challenge in Haiti for many, many families."
The units will be available for pre-order at klereayiti.com and can be paid for at any Western Union location.
Chemen Lavi Miyò (CLM), which is Haitian Creole for “the pathway to a better life,” is a program that helps Haiti’s most disadvantaged citizens lift themselves out of poverty. CLM works with 2,500 families in the Central Plateau for 18 months at a time. The program helps Haitians learn skill sets that will empower them to pull their families out of poverty and be self-sufficient.