Following on with our previous coverage of the finalists in the 2016 Zayed Future Energy Prize awards, the focus of the work of Rural Services Foundation is one which an increasing number of nonprofits and businesses are targeting, namely the rural poor. In this case, Rural Services Foundation (RSF) is engaged in the deployment of several types of clean technology to rural residents of Bangladesh, including home solar power systems, cleaner and more efficient cookstoves, and biogas digesters, all of which can improve the lives and livelihoods of those they reach.
"Rural Service Foundation (RSF) is a not-for-profit social enterprise endeavouring to reduce poverty and support the rural poor. The Foundation operates mostly in rural, disadvantaged communities. It helps rural people to come out of poverty by helping them in generating income for themselves through programs involving solar home systems, improved cooking stoves, bio gas, contract farming, etc." -Rahimafrooz
The main activity by RSF is the installations of what it calls a 'Solar Home System' or SHS, which are small-sized solar PV systems with battery storage, capable of powering low-wattage LED lighting and charging mobile devices for homes and small businesses. According to its website, RSF has installed some 558,091 of its SHS so far through its 484 unit offices located across Bangladesh.
Another main activity of RSF is the Improved Cooking Stove (ICS), which is not only designed to be more fuel-efficient in order to save its users labor or costs and reduce deforestation, and to be more thermally efficient so as to keep indoor kitchen temperatures down, but also to drastically reduce the amount of smoke and soot released indoors. So far, RSF has installed more than 82,800 of the ICS units, which can help its users save up to 50% in fuel consumption. The third main activity of RSF is the construction of biogas plants, which the organization has worked to build some 2,420 of, providing not only a cleaner fuel source, but also the training of masons, who can use their skills to provide an income while contributing to further alleviation of poverty.
In addition to the above activities, RSF also has a number of other initiatives, including an IT center for human resource development, a Model School & College in Bogra for underprivileged children, and also "runs 'Dhaka Project' which is home to some 500 urban underprivileged children, providing them with shelter, education, food, clothing, and care."