Impumelelo is aiming to mainstream social innovation throughout South Africa. It is a South African non-profit established in 1999 to identify, reward and promote socially innovative projects that improve quality of life for the poor. Since then, it has awarded more than 300 innovative projects.
Each year, the Impumelelo Social Innovations Centre is awarding civil society organisations, social innovators and entrepreneurs in the public and private sector that improve the quality of the life of the poor in exceptional ways.
Founded in 2009, Solar Sister eradicates energy poverty by empowering women with economic opportunity. They combine the breakthrough potential of solar technology with a deliberately woman-centered direct sales network to bring light, hope and opportunity to even the most remote communities in rural Africa. They are active in Uganda, Tanzania and Nigeria.
A simple tool. A massive need.
For many, clean water comes with the twist of a tap. But in rural underdeveloped countries, access to water requires hours of walking, waiting in line and heavy lifting. On average, a woman spends six hours a day collecting and transporting water to supply her family’s daily needs. The time spent on this basic necessity keeps many children out of school and prevents women from engaging in more empowering activities and income-generating opportunities.
But there is a simple solution: The simple design of the hippo water roller allows the transport of water more easily and efficiently by placing the water inside its “wheel.” A full hippo roller holds 200 lbs of water – five times the amount possible using traditional methods. But because the weight is borne on the ground, it has an effective weight of just 22 pounds allowing even children to easily manage a full roller over most types of terrain.
This simple tool will change the lives of millions of women and children in rural communities. A single hippo roller carries enough water to meet the basic needs of five people per day. Fewer trips to collect water means women and children can spend their time on productive educational and economic opportunities. It gives them access to better hygiene and living conditions, and it’s now possible for families and schools to collect enough water to grow their own vegetables gardens.