SELF’s Whole Village Development Model takes an integrated approach to community empowerment using a mix of solar energy solutions to improve the lives of people who don’t have access to electricity. By working closely with communities and adhering to our operating principles of SELF Determination, SELF Help and SELF Reliance, we seek to provide benefits in:

Education: powering lights, computers and wireless internet services.
Health: powering facility lights, labs, diagnostic equipment and vaccine refrigerators.
Water & Agriculture: powering water wells and pumps for clean drinking water and year-round crop irrigation.
Enterprise: powering centers for small businesses and providing electricity for machinery and equipment.
Community: electrifying homes, community centers and street lighting.


  • Colombia

    Approximately six million of Colombia’s 46 million people live without electricity. In 2011, SELF began to explore ways to power indigenous villages throughout Colombia to provide indigenous communities with basic facilities in health and education using solar power. […]

  • Haiti

    UPDATE: We recently finished installing new solar systems to power six primary schools and one junior high school in the Boucan Carré district of Haiti’s Central Plateau, and we also installed eighteen new solar powered street lights to provide security on its roads. […]

  • SELF in Benin


    UPDATE: We recently completed a solar powered micro-enterprise center. Three buildings will house ten shops, forming a center of economic activity in the villages. The center courtyard, shaded by a solar array that powers the buildings, will create an inviting space for additional, smaller vendors. […]


Benin Kids

Access to energy is foundational to achieving a broad range of basic human rights and all of the Millennium Development Goals. SELF’s ENERGY IS A HUMAN RIGHT™ campaign provides a voice to the 1.5 billion people around the world living without access to modern energy services and calls upon everyone to join the campaign to […]



In early 2012, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon formally launched the U.N.’s International Year of Sustainable Energy for All Initiative whose goals are to: ensure universal access to modern energy services for the world’s poor; double the rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and double the share of renewable energy in the global energy […]


Like many Arhuaco people that were displaced during the 60-year civil war in Colombia before him, Vinci and his family sought to find more fertile land than where they were living in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains. Eventually, they found an area suitable for farming, and it was there that he declared his desire […]

> Mailing List

To keep up to date with what we're doing, please join our community! Read our Privacy Policy.

> SELF’s Mission

With the power of the sun and your help, we can eliminate energy poverty. Thank you for your support!
Donate to SELF

> Annual Report

2013 SELF Annual Report

2013 SELF Annual Report

"Sun Power" by
Neville Williams
Available now!