29 Feb 2020
Onderwerpen:
Development

Share the sun!

The sun is the largest natural energy source we have. Sunlight is abundant, it is sustainable and it is available everywhere. It is the solution for everyone who needs electricity, but no electricaly outlet in the near. Electricity is common to many, but the reality is that many people in this world do not have access to electricity. Also in the slums and in the countryside in Nairobi, Kenya many people don’t have access to electricity.

Mathare is a slum in Nairobi, Kenya, where about half a million people live. Many people in this slum have no or only irregular access to electricity. In Kenya it is always dark at 7 p.m. That means that from that time on, there is no light and you cannot see a hand before your eyes. In order to have light, many people use unsafe light sources such as kerosene lamps or candles, which are very expensive for them to buy. In addition, the light that comes from a kerosie light or candle is minimal, unhealthy to breathe in and it can couse a fire so it is dangerous. Children come home from school late. Many have to walk long distances before they get home. It is mostly dark or quickly dark. It is making homework very difficult. Access to light and electricity means access to education, to communication, to ways of earning an income, to belief in yourself, to a better future. We want to change that with a light that works on solar energy. The Waka Waka Light. Together we can make that change and give them a light in the darkness

 

Waka Waka Light en Power +

WakaWaka Light:
is a compact, highly efficient solar powered light. The light has 4 light intensities and with its 2 powerful LEDs it gives up to 200 hours of bright light. Thanks to the efficient integrated solar panel you can fully charge it with just 5 to 8 hours of sunlight.

The WakaWaka Power + :
is a powerful, compact power bank with light. It is powered by solar. WakaWaka Power + you have the electricity you need to get your phone charged or listen to music but you also have the light just like the Waka Waka light. The light has a unique design so that you can use it in different ways. For example as a hanging lamp by putting a string on it or as a table lamp by placing it on the top of a bottle (see picture below).

 

My story

Since 2001, football club Union has been offering a group of young MYSA Kenya soccer players an activity week in Nijmegen every year. All these children come from the slums of Nairobi and will be hosted by families and so also with me in 2014. I then had 2 boys in the house of 12 and 13 years old. It became clearly that electricity for them was something special. They thought it was fantastic to play with the light switches and when I thought it would be fun to put on a candle and switch off the light, they asked me if the light could be turned on again. The boys also told me that they were in their exam year and how difficult it was to learn because it was dark when they came home from school. As i planned to go and visit them in Kenya i really wanted to do somthing and not go there with empty hands so this is how the idea of a solar-powered light came into existence, because in Africa there is plenty of sunshine. After some research on the internet for lights on solar energy I came across the Waka Waka light. This is how this project started. I designed a flyer with some help from friends as the lights are quite expensive. The Light is 29.95 p / s and the Power+ is 69.95 p / s. I had 6 months to raise money for the lights because then I would travel to Kenya. I wanted to give each one of the team a light which meant i needed to collect around 16 lights. What started small suddenly became big. Finally in February 2015 I flew with 202 lights in the suitcases to Kenya.

In the meantime, many lights have been distributed in the slums, orphanages and rural areas.The impact of this light is absolutely not a luxury but an enormous life improvement for these people.I will explain why:3 weeks before I went to visit the orphanage in the slums, a fire broke out because a candle came on a mattress. Half the orphanage has burned down. Fortunately the children remained unharmed, but now that they have waka waka lights, this danger has passed. Of vital importance. There are also many children with HIV. They receive medication for this at special times, so also in the dark. The Waka Waka light helps to read the medication prescriptions per child easily. Also in the morning with milking of the cows or in the evening with the preparation of the food and in many more ways, it is a great life improver. And of course it’s sustainable. In addition, lights have gone out to the elderly. This group of people live in poor conditions. They share toilets with many people, so if they have to go to the toilet at night they have to go outside. The paths are uneven with sand and big stones, difficult to see in the dark. Many accidents happen because they cannot see well where they are walking. And if something happens, there is no money to go to the hospital. This was also clearly visible in a number of cases. Now they have a light and see where they walk in the dark. Children can now learn in the evening. School performance have improved.

Spread the light and give them a bright light for the future