NextEnergy Foundation’s response to COVID-19

Date: 22/06/20

NextEnergy Foundation’s Board of Trustees has approved the expansion of the Foundation’s remit – to contribute to poverty alleviation by increasing access to clean energy sources in regions where they are not available – in order to support those communities which have been most adversely affected by the socio-economic impacts of Covid-19.

To date, the Foundation has committed £80,000 in donations to the following organisations and projects:

FINCA International

NEF is working with FINCA International on two projects. NEF will support BrightLife, a social enterprise which provides first-time clean energy to poor and low-income households in Uganda, to resume its operations. As well as recruiting and training new BrightLife agents, additional safety supplies will be provided, and BrightLife’s communication channels will be leveraged to disseminate accurate COVID-19 health information. The second project will jumpstart the livelihoods of FINCA Impact Finance’s female clients in Jordan and Afghanistan and help them to rebuild their businesses following the economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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GivePower is a is a non-profit organisation which provides solar energy solutions to the developing regions which need them most. Their work is completely aligned with NEF’s Mission. NEF is partnering with GivePower to respond to Covid-19 in Nepal by developing, manufacturing and distributing solar powered portable medical ventilators for immediate deployment in accordance with the needs identified by the country’s Ministry of Health and Population.

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Paddington Academy

Paddington Academy is a co-educational secondary school in inner-West London. It is an Outstanding (Oftsed-rated), non-selective Academy with 1,200 students from ages 11-18. However, 36.6% of children are on free school meals and many of the students do not have laptops on which to attend their online lessons during the pandemic. NEF has made a donation to enable the school to purchase and distribute 50 laptops to students from low-income backgrounds and support their studies at this time.

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Solace Women’s Aid

Solace Women’s Aid works to prevent violence and abuse towards women and girls, and to provide services to meet the needs of domestic abuse survivors. Solace launched an Emergency Appeal to ensure that no woman is forced to choose between Covid-19 and domestic abuse. NEF is supporting the Appeal, which will address both the immediate and longer-term needs of women and children fleeing from domestic and sexual abuse. It will also ensure that as many of the additional women who are expected to come forward post-lockdown as possible receive the help they require for the long-term.

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Solar Aid has launched the Moment of Sunshine Appeal, a fund established to respond to Covid-19 in Zambia and Malawi. The Appeal will help to reach the poorest, most vulnerable communities in both countries and support local health clinics to treat infected patients. As one of the first supporters of the Appeal in Zambia, NEF has been instrumental in boosting the fund’s impact from the outset. Thus far in Malawi, over 12,000 rural households have been provided with important information to help to keep them safe. In partnership with the Ministry of Health, SolarAid has also distributed 700 solar lights and systems to equip Health Surveillance Assistants and health infrastructure