Partners In Health (PIH), The Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF) and Grammy-winning reggae band Steel Pulse today announced the release of Hold On [4 Haiti], a new song composed by lead singer David Hinds and recorded to raise funds for the solar electrification of health clinics for PIH in Haiti. The clinics, operated by Zanmi Lasante, are located in the remote mountain highlands and do not have access to the electric grid. In the aftermath of the January earthquake in Port-au-Prince, the facilities have experienced a rise in demand for health-care services, countered by dangerous fluctuations in fuel supplies needed to operate their generators.
Steel Pulse has launched a new website, www.holdon4haiti.org, where the song is available for download on a donation basis. One hundred percent of donations received will benefit Haiti.
Explained Mr. Hinds: “Because the initial media coverage has waned considerably, we want to revitalize the focus on Haitis plight. 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.”
“Steel Pulse’s Hold On [4 Haiti] is a song of hope,” said SELF’s executive director, Bob Freling. “Our hope is that we can solar electrify all 12 hospitals and health centers for Partners In Health in Haiti. We were already working on electrifying PIH clinics, but in the wake of the earthquake we’ve been requested by PIH to accelerate our timeline for bringing solar power to all of their sites in Haiti.”
Dr. Paul Farmer, co-founder of Partners In Health, has been an advocate for the Solar Health Care Partnership between the two organizations from the very beginning, when SELF worked on electrifying PIH clinics in Africa. “We know that solar energy is self-replenishing and sustainable. It works for us in Africa, and we want to use it across all our facilities in Haiti; diesel is already in short supply and will likely become even more difficult to obtain as time goes by,” said Dr. Farmer. “This song by Steel Pulse serves as a reminder that we stand with the people of Haiti in solidarity and compassion.”
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