Project with Self Help Africa

In April 2009 Solar Without Frontiers sent 6 solar lights to a small village called Gilgil in Kenya’s Nakuru district. The project in Gilgil is run by Self Help Africa, who sent volunteers from Mc Egan College in Macroom, a local secondary school, together with other Irish students, into the village to help in their agricultural program. The lights are the first solar lights to come to this village, where people have been using kerosene lamps all along. Kerosene lamps can be hazardous for eyes and lungs, are not bright enough and can pose a fire threat to the local houses. They burn kerosene, expensive and not environmentally friendly. The solar lights are a lot cleaner and are not a fire and health hazard to people.

The solar lights are to stay in this community for a trial period, accompanied by an evaluating questionnaire to assess the needs of people and demand and problem areas for the future. A bigger roll-out is planned for the nearer future to lighten up the village of Gilgil, and make this sound source of light available for everyone.

Project with CIVS

CIVS is a volunteer organization in Nairobi, who organizes work placements in rural areas all over Kenya. The team is organizing workcamps for foreign and Kenyan volunteers  in villages, where their organization has set up local investment schemes. These microfinancing schemes give people the ability to use a microcredit to buy, for example, a solar light to aid their business or cottage industry. This way, they are able to work in the evening, producing more and working more efficiently. The systems, along other products and equipment, are repaid over a period of time. In the case of the solar lights, the money raised by this will stay in the community, giving the opportunity to aid the local institutions, like schools, community centres or dispensaries in acquiring a solar system to the benefit of all.

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