A South Korean solar energy company partnering with a Kenyan school has received a 2019 Innovation Award at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), for a project designed to keep children in developing nations in school rather than missing out on an education to work at home.
The global technology showcase CES, which runs this week in the United States city of Las Vegas, announced the honors for Yolk and their “Solar Cow Project.” It’s built around a solar power charging station shaped like a cow and intentionally located at the village school.
When students arrive, they plug a milk-bottle shaped portable battery into the solar-station “cow.” It charges while they’re in classes and they take the “Power Milk” battery home when they leave for the day.
“These Power Milk contain enough capacity to meet most needs for electricity for the average local household: charging cell phones and powering a flashlight, a radio, or other gadgets,” the startup says. “By providing free access to the electricity, we in practice help families save up to 20 percent of their average monthly income.”
At the pilot school in rural Pokot, the project also saves a four- to six-hour walk to the nearest charging station. Families have access to solar energy every day because the child is attending school, which is the primary goal for Yolk in reducing child labor and improving opportunities for youth.
The CES 2019 conference runs through January 11. More information about CES is available here.
Image: Solar Cow Project