Newsletters and Letters Home

April 21, 2024: "Go Big or Go Home!": Going from 20 to 250 women's solar shops between now and 2025!?!

   I guess the really big development in the last couple of months is that our cooking system funders have made it clear to us that they really want us to "Go Big!"  They don't want us to help just a few thousand households per year, but they want us to go for more than 10,000 cooker systems in 2025.

February 17, 2024: Pumps, cookers, cheap off-grid electricity, effective altruism students and summer plans

 Well it has been too long since my last letter in September ... time to give an update ... this letter is very long and is going to cover finances, solar pumps, cookers, cheap off-grid electricity, student cost-effectiveness research, and next summer's plans.

Sept. 10, 2023: Results from RVB's longest trip to Malawi so far

 There have been two HUGE accomplishments on this recent trip to Malawi described in this letter. #1: The first organizational victory is that we have distributed 750 of our 900 solar pumping systems. #2:The second huge advance is that we have finished the assembly and deployment of about 20 prototype forever batteries with the latest, greatest controller board and programming.

June 4, 2023: Back in Malawi to distribute solar pumps

This friends and family letter provides a description of the summer plans to distribute pumps, make more progress on Forever Batteries, distribute solar electric cookers, and communicate our success to the larger philanthropic and development communities.

March 10, 2023: Buying solar panels just might be the key to rural African development

This friends and family letter explains how enabling rural Africans to buy more solar panels just may be the key to economic development in rural Africa.

January 1, 2023: Happy New Year! and 2023 Malawi Solar Plans

This friends and family letter summarizes our plans for six key activities in 2023.

November 1, 2022: How many solar pumps should we deliver to women's groups in 2023?

In this friends and family letter, I am going to ask you to help me answer the question posed in the title. 

July 9, 2022: Six areas of progress, including pumps for women's groups

 This Friends and family letter details progress in: (1) Solar irrigation, (2) Developing a Malawi rural solar electrification plan, (3) Supply and logistics, (4) Small solar cars, (5) Foreverlight sign-ups, and (6) 12V Forever battery development. 

May 7, 2022: Getting our 2022 Africa solar expansion plans under way

 This Friends and family letter explains how we have started implementing some of the details of our 2022 expansion efforts. 

February 18, 2022: Expanding our work >200% in 2022

  In this Friends and Family letter, we explain the details of how a low-interest expansion loan of >$100K will allow us to grow our impacts by more than 200% in 2022. 

November 11, 2021: RVB's latest trip to Malawi and Tanzania

 This letter discusses a string of recent implementation successes and discusses what type of financing arrangements would do the best job of facilitating a rapid expansion of the Malawi solar work: both in Malawi and to other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa

July 30, 2021: Breaking out is hard to do!

  This letter summarized our four solar product areas, describes the opening of at least two village solar shops and some of the disruption that the COVID pandemic made to our work. 

January 31, 2021: The COVID pandemic and the latest trip to Malawi

This letter describes pushing our work forward in the middle of a pandemic, and the move towards batteries that can last 10 years or more.