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Jason Gray, co-founder of non-profit organization SunFarmer.

Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail

The Donor: Jason Gray

The Gift: Co-founding SunFarmer

The Cause: To provide solar power to schools and hospitals in Nepal

Story continues below advertisement

Jason Gray spent about five years working in the solar power industry in Canada before deciding to do something more ambitious; bring solar power to developing countries.

Together with business partner Andy Moon, Mr. Gray co-founded SunFarmer, a non-profit organization that installs solar power systems at health-care establishments and schools in Nepal.

The social enterprise has raised $3-million so far, thanks partly to a donation from SunEdison Inc., where both men worked.

The organization, which is seeking charity status in Canada, works with groups and government officials in Nepal to find projects. SunFarmer then oversees the design and installation of the solar-powered systems and provides zero-interest loans to help local groups purchase the materials. So far the organization has installed solar panels at six health clinics and two schools. There are also plans to put up panels at a hospital to provide electricity to part of the facility.

"There are 2.5 billion people without reliable energy in the world," Mr. Gray, 36, said from his office in Toronto (Mr. Moon works out of New York). He added that SunFarmer hopes to raise $1-million in 2015 to fund another 30 projects. "It has all been very rewarding."

pwaldie@globeandmail.com

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