This is absolutely awe-inspiring on so many levels! Girls, science, technology, empowerment, and in an Islamic country. These girls are truly extraordinary. (I would wish some of them didn't wear a full veil but we can't have everything, can't we?)
SANAA — For Wafa Al-Rimi, Yemen's revolution brought dark days. Though power outages are frequent in the country, Al-Rimi says during the past year's unrest, some days saw less than an hour of electricity.
By: Nafeesa Syeed for Al-Monitor. Posted on January 4.
Attempting to study for exams in those conditions got the 16-year-old and some of her classmates thinking: How could they keep the lights on?"We were tired of darkness," Al-Rimi says. So, they turned to the sun.Through an entrepreneurship program at their government school, an all-female team invented solar-powered appliances and established a company, Creative Generation, through which they've vended their wares to hotels and government offices. In November, they were named “best company of the year” in a regional competition for young Arab entrepreneurs organized by INJAZ Al-Arab, the regional member of Junior Achievement Worldwide, a Colorado-based business education organization. The Yemeni students say their motivation has always been to help their society. In the process though, they say they've also paved new possibilities of leadership for young women in a society where custom can keep females out of the workplace.Starting UpInside a conference room at the Syeda Zainab school, in a lower-middle class neighborhood in Sanaa, Yemen's capital, Al-Rimi, CEO of Creative Generation, gathers with her classmates-turned-coworkers. In a printed headscarf, her canvas sneakers peek below her sheer black abaya. She displays a large, blue-and-green patio umbrella. A rectangular solar panel is fastened to the canopy's outer cover, while a light bulb and USB charging port hang below. Nearby, rest the students' other contraptions — a red lantern as well as a fan similarly equipped with a light and USB charging outlet.Their efforts began July when INJAZ Yemen, affiliated with the regional INJAZ nonprofit group, brought together 16 girls from the school and a couple of college students for a business training program. Volunteers from Yemen's private sector taught them about corporate structure, accounting, market research and other administrative elements. Charged with setting up their own firm, Al-Rimi suggested exploring renewable energy, so they read up on the field and did research to see what was out in the market. They settled on small solar-powered devices. With pointers from an engineer, they wired up the ready-made umbrellas, fans and lanterns to batteries and solar panels while adding touches such as USB chargers. The girls had to sell stocks and shares to raise seed money to get the production going."In Yemen, we have abundant sun," says Reem Rashed, 16, who works in the company's human resources section. "We need to exploit solar power because it's a favorable, free energy and it does no damage to Yemeni society.From left to right, Reem Rashed and Wafa Al-Rimi, who helped found their student company Creative Generation, display a solar-power fan and lantern that they produced. (photo by: Nafeesa Syeed)
Wow! Good girls! I love it :)
Considering solar panels have a shelf life of about 10 years they are paying a massive premium for energy. Who flipped the bill?
probably. This isnt profitable in the least, I guarantee you the girls are not taking payment for their time and trouble just to prove it can be done. Some sympathetic liberal leaning royal prince/princess somewhere in Arabia is flipping the bill. I doubt it's a PR stunt. The real goal I suspect is women's liberation.
Awsome; these young women have all my admiration