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Solar Saves Lives in India

July 30, 2021

Solar Saves Lives in India
Rock Spring UCC Congregation and Solar Village Project
Join to Combat COVID Surge

Today, Rock Spring United Church of Christ and the Solar Village Project announced their partnership to bring life-saving, reliable solar panels to medical clinics in rural areas of Uttar Pradesh, India — the country with the second highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world.

Even while COVID-19 cases surge, unreliable electricity from the grid has forced ventilators to shut down and oxygen generators to turn off. In one heartbreaking example, Joe Kselman, Executive Director of Solar Village, learned of the death of a poet in his 30s, who died when a ventilator turned off in the middle of the night when the clinic lost electricity.

Rock Spring is investing $24,000 from the church’s mission fund to provide rural clinics in India with solar arrays that will provide reliable power for medical equipment. This gift makes Rock Spring UCC the largest contributor to SVP’s campaign to raise funds for solar arrays on medical clinics in India.

Rev. Laura Martin says of the partnership, “Our faith calls us to look at the broken places in the world and respond with action and commitment. This mission pairs Rock Spring’s response to climate change with support for COVID-19 victims — two issues that are taking lives every day. We celebrate the vision and transformation that the Solar Village Project is making during the COVID-19 crisis.”

Joe Kselman stated, “Thanks to the generosity of the Rock Spring UCC community, six more medical clinics in rural India will now have life-changing solar power to maintain devices that will save lives during the COVID-19 crisis.”

“What a powerful witness! Rock Spring UCC’s generous gift illustrates how all the justice issues are connected. May this inspire more houses of worship to help needy neighbors using the best science to address the dual world crises of climate change and COVID-19,” said Rev. Dr. Jim Antal, Special Advisor on Climate Justice to UCC General Minister and President and author of Climate Church, Climate World.

Since 2018, Rock Spring UCC and SVP have joined in partnership to support micro-lending for solar lanterns and solar arrays on schools in rural India. In 2020, Rock Spring members and friends travelled to Puerto Rico and equipped three community centers with solar in partnership with SVP. One of those sites was then used to care for COVID-19 patients at the beginning of the pandemic.

Rock Spring clergy and Green Accelerator Project mission leaders, and Solar Village Project’s Executive Director are available to speak further about this vital work. For more information, see SVP website here, and Rock Spring here.


  • Solar Village Project (SVP):
  • Rev. Laura Martin, Rock Spring UCC:
  • Jerry Hartz, Rock Spring UCC member and SVP Vice President: