Press Releases

Press release: ‘We Care Solar’ wins Zayed Sustainability Prize in Health Category

Abu Dhabi, UAE, 15th January 2019: We Care Solar, the US-based provider of efficient solar energy systems to health facilities in off-grid regions, has won the 2019 Zayed Sustainability Prize (Health Category), for its portable maternity and medical “Solar Suitcase”. The announcement was made today at the Prize’s annual awards ceremony, on the official opening day of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.
Established in 2008, the Zayed Sustainability Prize (previously known as the Zayed Future Energy Prize) is the UAE’s pioneering global sustainability award, which recognises and awards organisations and high schools for innovative, impactful and inspirational solutions in five categories: Health Food, Energy, Water and Global High Schools. The Prize is inspired by and in honour of the sustainability and humanitarian legacy of the UAE’s founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
Presented by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, representatives from We Care Solar accepted the award before an audience of esteemed international dignitaries and thousands of guests in attendance.
With child mortality and women’s health being two significant issues in developing countries, the winning solution in this year’s Zayed Sustainability Prize (Health Category) was We Care Solar’s “Solar Suitcase”. Currently being used in 3,325 medical facilities, in 27 African countries, these devices have already been used in to assist medical professionals in over 1.8 million deliveries.
The obstetric Solar Suitcase has made an impact on the health and safety outcomes of millions of women and children and this can be from something as simple as a device that offers: medical quality lighting, fetal monitors, solar panels to charge an LFP battery for mobile phones and small devices, mounting hardware, and headlamps with rechargeable batteries. As the 2019 winner, We Care Solar has committed to use the winning Prize fund to deepen its presence in East Africa and towards the establishment of a regional centre for the organisation.
Laura Stachel, Executive Director and Co-Founder of We Care Solar, said: “We are deeply honoured to have been selected for the Zayed Sustainability Prize and to be part of a community that is promoting sustainable solutions for healthier, more equitable, and more productive societies. Winning this prestigious competition is helping us highlight the importance of reliable electricity for maternal and child health care. Globally, 303,000 mothers and more than a million newborns die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth, often in darkened health centres where midwives and doctors struggle to provide care. No woman should die giving life.”
“We are grateful to the Zayed Sustainability Prize for sharing our vision that solar and sustainable energy technologies provide safe, reliable, and affordable solutions to the global challenge of maternal and newborn mortality. We look forward to working in partnership with this community to bring clean, sustainable energy to safe motherhood programmes around the world.”
Dr. Lamya Fawwaz, Director of the Zayed Sustainability Prize, said: “The real winners of this Prize are the women and children whose lives will be saved by the medical support they receive from this innovative and sustainable healthcare solution. The number of preventable deaths to women and children due to circumstances as simple as a lack of light is a tragedy. We applaud and commend We Care Solar for its efforts in addressing these issues and hope the Prize win and funds can help the organisation continue to deliver high-quality care to a growing number of women, around the world.”
In 2018, the Zayed Sustainability Prize had a strategic refocus and evolved its mandate to support a wider range of sustainability solutions, alongside energy. The evolution into additional categories means, for the first time in the Prize’s history, the 2019 awards will be presented in recognition of sustainability solutions in of Health, Food, Energy, Water, and Global High Schools. This aligns the Prize more closely with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the UAE government’s National Agenda 2021.
Winners of each category receive US$600,000 in prize funds to enhance and develop their existing solution. In the Global High Schools category, six schools from six world regions receive up to US$100,000 each, to create or enhance a school or local community project.
To date, the Prize, including all its previous winners and categories, has directly and indirectly impacted the lives of over 318 million people.
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About the Zayed Sustainability Prize
Established by the UAE leadership in 2008 as the Zayed Future Energy Prize, the Zayed Sustainability Prize is a global award inspired by the sustainability vision and legacy of the UAE’s founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
Culminating in an annual awards ceremony, held each year during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, the Zayed Sustainability Prize invites innovators from around the world to be part of a growing pioneering community, committed to developing impactful sustainability initiatives and accelerating the development of solutions that serve people across the world – for today and for the future generations to come.
The Zayed Sustainability Prize categories are Health, Food, Energy, Water and Global High Schools.
For more information, please visit or visit our social media platforms on: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube.
One of the world’s largest sustainability gatherings, Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week is dedicated to furthering our understanding of the major social, economic and environmental trends shaping the world’s sustainable development now and in the future, and to empowering the global community to realise viable and effective strategies to mitigate climate change. Taking place from January 13-20, 2018, Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week welcomes tens of thousands of attendees; from heads of state, government ministers and international trade delegations, to local communities, as well as young people passionately engaged in energy and sustainability issues.
Learn more at:, or @ADSWAgenda on social media.
For further information, please contact:
Merwat Hussein
Account Manager
Office: +971 (0)2 447 2805
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Andrew Chupeau
Sr. Executive, Communications
Zayed Sustainability Prize
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