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Help to expand solar lighting project in rural Zimbabwe

Requested by

Light Zimbabwe

Who are you trying to help? What issue are you trying to address?

Light Zimbabwe equips disadvantaged Zimbabwean families with solar-powered lamps. These lamps allow students to study at night, after they have completed necessary chores and work during the afternoon. With light to study, the students’ academic performance greatly improvess and more young people continue on to higher education. The light doesn’t only benefit students — parents and relatives can increase their productivity time and raise family income. Most Zimbabweans living below the poverty line currently depend on candles and kerosene lanterns after the sun sets. Solar- powered lamps are cheaper, healthier, and more eco-friendly than the kerosene lanterns.

Solar energy is a growing need in Zimbabwe due to the numerous power outages in urban areas as well as the complete lack of electricity in remote rural areas. However, because solar energy is a relatively new technology, it is often unavailable for rural communities. Some companies such as Econet Wireless lead projects that donate solar lamps to rural areas. Even though there are a few other solar lamp efforts, Light Zimbabwe is the first to work in Manicaland Province which is the eastern part of the country and shares a border with Mozambique. The area is quite remote and has not received much aid from the government or NGOs. Solar lamps are a relatively new product in the area.

What is your project and how will it help?

Our project provides d.light solar lamps to disadvantaged students in rural Zimbabwe. We are working to make a lasting impact on the area before expanding to other areas in Zimbabwe. Our aim is to provide high quality lamps at an affordable price, $2.

By expanding our project, we hope to make a major difference to the lives of students and their families.

Each region that Light Zimbabwe is based in has local, employed overseers. These individuals distribute the lamps in their respective schools on a need basis in accordance with our goals and principles. Orphans receive priority in receiving lamps. Seventh and twelfth graders also receive recipient priority because they take exams that determine whether they can continue on to high school or university. At the end of each three-month long school term, students bring the lamps to school so that overseers can take an inventory. To continue renting the lamps for another term, students pay the $2 rental charge to the Light Zimbabwe overseers. All the different project centres store the unused lamps in one central storage house that Light Zimbabwe owns. The money collected from each term is deposited in Light Zimbabwe’s bank account, which the treasurer will file, and is reflected in financial statements.

How can other people partner with you on your project?

Other people can sponsor us or donate to expand the project so that we can provide lamps to most parts of rural Zimbabwe where a great many people live below the poverty line. Therefore, we need people to help us raise the money to provide as many lamps as we possibly can since the income from the rent is not enough to sustain the project.

Please detail the resources that you need.

We need at least 1000 d.lights 1000: S10; and 1000 S1 (S2) lamps, which cost about $10,000 for the Manicaland province alone.


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Categorisations

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Project funding

Regions / countries / territories

Africa: Zimbabwe

Global issues

Energy

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