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  • Writer's pictureKate Lohnes

We Share Solar Launches in Minnesota

Sometimes the phone rings and magic happens. This was the case when Gigi Dekko Goldman called the office last spring to learn more about Lilja and discuss how we might work together to help introduce local media to the We Share Solar® program in Minnesota. As soon as we learned about this unique education program that combines STEM, solar power and global citizenship, we knew we wanted to be a part of it.

We Share Solar is a national program that empowers students to be global changemakers by combining solar energy and engineering education with real-world application. Students build portable, 12-volt DC We Share Solar Suitcases that bring electricity to students at schools at Kakuma Refugee Camp in the northwestern region of Kenya. The Twin Cities program is fully funded by Wells Fargo.

The Lilja team helped craft messaging around the launch, developed a PR guide for participating schools, provided basic media training for a cohort of participating teachers, and worked with the news media to ensure they knew about this exciting program.

Photo by Katie G. Nelson.

Our work paid off with stories in the Star Tribune, community publications and several local TV stations. And that is just the beginning! This fall local media will be invited into the classroom to see students build the Solar Suitcases, including our favorite “lightbulb moment” when the students see the suitcase in action. The program will culminate in the spring, when the installation of the Solar Suitcases at Kakuma Refugee Camp is shared with the students through photos and video.

One of the amazing things about We Share Solar is their commitment to capturing compelling images and videos to tell their story. We encourage you to watch this short video that illustrates the impact the Solar Suitcases have on the lives of students and teachers at Kakuma Refugee Camp.

You can learn more about We Share Solar at

Photo by Katie G. Nelson.

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8953 Aztec Drive

Eden Prairie, MN 55347

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