Lighting India’s Slums
Past student of Loreto Kirribilli (2004) and co-founder and Director of Pollinate Energy, Katerina Kimmorley, is a successful social entrepreneur, environmental economist and international speaker.
Katerina is committed to saving lives and helping the environment by bringing solar panel light to the slums of India.
400 years ago the founder of the Loreto Sisters Mary Ward had a vision to encourage women to be seekers of truth and doers of justice, and that is exactly what Katerina is doing today.
Her story has gained widespread recognition with a recent documentary airing on the ABC’s Foreign Correspondentprogram.
Indoor air pollution from kerosene lamps and stoves is the second largest cause of death in India and Pollinate Energy is working to change this situation. They are replacing both of these by way of a cheap portable solar lamp which also doubles as a phone charger.
So far they have sold almost 9000 solar lights and benefited more than 41,200 people in Bangalore and Hyderabad.
An Impact Assessment Study in 2014 found families with the solar light are able to earn a higher income because they can work into the night and save on average $110 a year due to a reduction in kerosene usage. Educational opportunities also improve as children are able to study of an evening.
“What we’ve found is by providing a light, kids are going to school, and mums are working in the evening,” Katerina said.
Pollinate Energy plans to expand into two more Indian cities, including Kolkata. “We want every family living in a city slum to have access to solar lights and other life improving technologies just like us – there are 53 cities in India, we want to be in all of them and many more countries in the next 5 years,” Katerina said.
With India’s urban population set to double in the next two decades this innovative lamp could help Indian communities lift themselves out of poverty.
Among Katerina’s achievements was recognition by the Financial Review as being one of Australia’s 100 Women of Influence in 2013. True to the vision of our Loreto Schools of Australia Mission Statement, Katerina along with her co-founders of Pollinate Energy, are able to use their individual gifts with confidence, creativity and generosity in responsible and loving service.
“I have always been grateful for the focus Loreto had on social justice and have recently been reflecting on all the Loreto values of Freedom, Justice, Verity, Sincerity and Felicity. They are all central to my decision making,” Katerina said.
To find out more please visit the Pollinate Energy website.