All proceeds of latest song to go to non-profits working to rebuild Haiti
As the dust was still settling after the massive 7.0-magnitude earthquake in Haiti on January 12, frontman for legendary reggae band Steel Pulse, David Hinds, was already sitting down to write a song about the catastrophe -- a song that will now be used to help electrify the country's healthcare infrastructure.
“Because the initial media coverage has waned considerably," Hinds explained last week, "we want to revitalize the focus on Haiti's plight."
In light of that effort, Hinds and Steel Pulse announced it was working with the Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF) and Partners In Health (PIH) and will donate all proceeds from their new song, "Hold on [4 Haiti]," to the solar electrification of PIH clinics in Haiti.
"We wrote 'Hold On [4 Haiti]' to support the people of Haiti through the work being done by the Solar Electric Light Fund and Partners In Health. We’ve got to make a real difference on the ground — that’s what this project is all about.”
According to project organizers, 100 percent of the proceeds from the song will support three critically important causes: bringing solar energy to the developing world; providing healthcare for the poor, and; helping rebuild Haiti. “It’s a triple whammy," SELF executive director, Bob Freling, told me in a phone call last week. “Relying on diesel is just not an option,” he said.
Freling explained that SELF hopes to electrify all 12 health centers for Partners In Health in Haiti. "We were already working on electrifying PIH clinics," said Freling, "but in the wake of the earthquake we were requested by PIH to accelerate our timeline for bringing solar power to all of their sites in Haiti."
"A quarter of humanity has absolutely no access to electricity, said Freling. "130 years after the invention of the incandescent lamp, a quarter of humanity has never turned on a light bulb.”
For the Haiti project, SELF reached out to their community of donors around the world including solar panel manufacturers SolarWorld, Suntech, Q-Cells and Canadian Solar, in addition to battery-makers Trojan and East Penn Manufacturing, and inverter manufacturer Outback Power. But the in-kind donations are only part of the equation, the project needs cash too. And Freling explained to me that instead of fixing the price of the song download (and ceding a sizable fraction to iTunes), they are making the download freely available and allowing people to determine the size of their donation.
Learn more about the project, donate, and download the Steel Pulse song at: www.holdon4haiti.org.
Watch Paul Farmer of PIH and Bob Freling of SELF discuss the solar electrification of health clinics in Haiti: