We are thrilled to announce that The Joseph School will be providing Solo Bags to our students and staff! The Solo Bag is an innovative backpack designed for students without reliable access to electricity. The bag charges a reading light using solar power, so students can safely and easily study at night.
The Solo Bag was created by Haitian Entrepreneurs Mike Bellot and Torcel (Wendy) Wendianne. Bellot became determined to address Haiti’s energy crisis after the loss of his cousin in a tragic accident. Bellott’s cousin had been studying late at night when the candle he was using to study caught his house on fire, and he could not make it out in time. After this loss, Bellot became determined to make safe energy more accessible to Haitians.
In Haiti, only about 37% of the country has access to regular electricity. Electricity, when available, also represents a huge costs to families. Our student’s families, many of which live on less than two dollars per day, would have to spend 30% of their income just to charge their cell phone. Buying kerosene for lightning at night is also costly and comes with negative health affects, and using candle light can quickly become dangerous. To solve this problem and to make safe, clean energy accessible to low income Haitians, Bellot and Wendianne created the Solo Bag.
The Solo Bag is a school bag embedded with a solar panel which absorbs sunlight during daytime, The energy is stored in a battery bank that emits eco-friendly and sustainable light at night. A student could then use the light to study or do their homework at night. Solo Bags can safely illuminate a room for up to six hours. There are USB ports in the battery, which allow the user to charge their cell phone. The bags are also equipped with a GPS tracker in case they are lost. Bellot hopes that his invention will not only benefit the 63% of Haitians without electricity, but also the 1.2 billion people worldwide who don’t have access to electric power.
The Jospeh School is investing in the Solo Bag for all our students and staff starting this fall. Since we know most of our students do not have access to regular electricity, we truly believe this will help our students be safer and more successful. We are also proud to be supporting Haitian entrepreneurs as they build a better future for their country! Stay tuned to see our students receiving their very own Solo Bag this fall!