OVO Foundation launches electrification project in Kenya


London, 16 August 2017 - OVO Foundation has partnered with Energy 4 Impact, a non-profit organisation working to extend access to energy in Africa, to launch a pioneering new project to install solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in schools and health clinics in Kenya. 

The new partnership supports OVO Foundation’s ambition to help inspiring organisations make smart ideas happen, and provide people with clean and renewable energy in sub-Saharan Africa. Last year, OVO Foundation successfully funded a Cool Earth project to introduce energy efficient stoves to communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which resulted in 50 per cent reduction in firewood.

The groundbreaking new project will work in two of the least developed counties in Kenya, Turkana and Kilifi, to install at least twenty solar PV systems in schools and health clinics that currently lack adequate electricity supply. The selected institutions in these two counties are among the least likely to be connected to the grid, and therefore decentralised off grid projects are the solution to introducing local people to electricity supplies.

Gaby Sethi, Head of OVO Foundation and CSR, OVO Foundation, said: “It’s not right that 1.2 billion people around the world don’t have access to electricity, leaving schools and health clinics off the grid. OVO Foundation views energy as one of life’s essentials and is passionate about supporting projects that provide people with access to reliable, renewable and sustainable energy. 

“We’re pleased to announce the partnership with Energy 4 Impact and launch a new project that introduces a reliable supply of electricity in off-grid areas to help improve learning environments for children, as well as strengthen health services for communities.” 

Nearly 60 per cent of all schools in sub-Saharan Africa are private; and as government funding is not currently awarded to private schools, this is an area where the partnership can make a real difference. By powering schools and health clinics, the project’s impact could lead to improved education outcomes, a safer environment for children to study at nighttime, and a reliable electricity supply for vaccines and medical equipment. 

The partnership aims to install at least twenty solar PV systems by the end of 2017, before expanding to other areas of Kenya in 2018.

Ben Good, Chief Executive Officer, Energy 4 Impact, said: “We’re very excited to partner with OVO Foundation, an organisation that has a history of making innovative projects happen in places where communities need it most. OVO Foundation’s support ensures that these schools and health clinics will soon be able to benefit from a reliable source of electricity. Combined with Energy 4 Impact’s business and technical expertise on the ground, we hope that the new project will bring long-term sustainable benefits to the local communities and help improve their future outlooks through energy empowerment.” 

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About OVO Foundation
OVO Foundation is OVO Energy’s charity. It was created in 2014 to expand OVO Energy’s charitable giving and bring caring closer to home. OVO Foundation’s mission is to support inspiring organisations with smart ideas in three areas: youth poverty, education, and energy and the environment. At the heart of it all is our mission to give young people a better future. Over 66,000 OVO Energy customers choose to donate to OVO Foundation each month by adding at least 25p to their monthly statement. OVO Energy matches all customer donations doubling the power of what we can achieve together.

The OVO Charitable Foundation (“OVO Foundation”) is a registered charity – its charity registration number is 1155954.

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About Energy 4 Impact
Energy 4 Impact is a non-profit organisation working with local businesses to extend access to energy in Africa, impacting the quality of life of millions of people. The organisation works in East and West Africa and operates from regional offices, with its head office in London. Formerly known as GVEP International, Energy 4 Impact was registered as a UK charity in 2007. It evolved from a partnership between the World Bank, UNDP and other bi-lateral donors, launched at the World Summit for Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2002.

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