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

    UPDATE: SELF has completed installation of a 12.5 kW solar micro-grid in Sabana Crespo, a traditional village in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of northern Colombia with a population of 300,000. […]

  • Benin

    UPDATE: The micro-enterprise center we solarized in Benin is bustling with business. Over the past year, small businesses have been created and are succeeding with solar powered refrigerators, cell phone charging stations, and even outside lighting so that businesses can be open at night. […]

  • 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. […]


It may surprise you to learn that there is a group of very young philanthropists who are intent on changing the world. SELF is fortunate to have been selected for support by one of them. Her name is Ruthie, and she is 13 years old. Recently celebrating her Bat Mitzvah, she asked her guests to […]


Women & Education: A Cornerstone of Development By SELF Staff, August 24, 2105 In the developing world, women are the foundation of community development. They are entrepreneurs, farmers, teachers, health providers, and homemakers. And yet, they are primarily uneducated; as young girls, they often leave primary schools in order to take care of the family […]


Sandra Philips, who spent two years on the ground for SELF in northern Benin, shares her personal story: When I stepped off the plane in Benin’s capital, Cotonou, I was greeted by warm fat raindrops and the assurance from locals that arriving with the rain is a blessing. I did not attach any particular meaning […]

> Mailing List

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

> Case for Giving

> Case for Giving

READ: SELF's new Case for Giving.

Donate to SELF

> Annual Report

2014 SELF Annual Report

2014 SELF Annual Report