For many people around the world who live in larger towns and cities, it’s actually unusual to experience true, complete darkness. Most of us have street lights or other homes near us with electricity, and so being in absolute blackness is a rare occurrence.
On my first visit to Uganda in the summer of 2016, I first realized how rare it is to experience a total absence of light. We were in a remote village way up on a hillside when the sun set for the night. The entire mountain was plunged into pitch darkness, and we literally couldn’t see our hands or the person standing right next to us. This is the actual photo I took that evening because I couldn’t remember ever experiencing something like it.
Our hosts quickly built a fire which we sat around while discussing the enormous difficulties not having access to electricity poses for a community, especially when it comes to a child having the ability to study or do homework.
Once school is finished for the day, many children in rural villages immediately start their chores, which can include walking long distances to gather water or working in the fields.
Once the sun goes down, many children in rural regions have no ability to do homework. Studies have shown that children without access to electricity and light at home perform much more poorly at school than those who do.
This week, we are working to change this critical problem for children in the villages where we work. We’ve set a goal to bring light to 1,000 children, with a proven solar-powered light source we’ve been using since 2016.
Created by Solight Designs, these “Solar Puffs” are powered by the sun and provide eight hours of bright light every evening. Even better, they are waterproof, which is so important in regions with monsoonal rains. We began distributing these Solar Puffs over five years ago to children living without electricity, and so we know firsthand that they last around three full years with daily use.
We’d love for you to join us to bring clean, renewable light to a child living in darkness. You can purchase one of these innovative solar lights for just $15 this week (that’s half off the retail price), which we will then distribute to remote regions of both Cambodia and India.
I actually have one of these special lights at my home which I got years ago to make sure it was as wonderful as we hoped it would be. It is my “go to” light whenever we lose power, as it really does last all night and illuminate a space. Solight’s designer came up with the design after studying origami. The light folds up flat so that a child can easily carry it in a school bag. Here’s a photo of my light folded and then a picture inside a closet that otherwise would be dark. You can see how well it lights the area.
I hope you’ll join with us as we bring these essential lights to some really wonderful kids in southeast Asia.
You can click this link to gift a light. Thanks in advance for helping us solve such a critical need. With the ability to study and do homework once the sun goes down, a solar light can brighten not only a home, but a child’s future as well.
~Amy Eldridge, Chief Executive Officer