As of January 2016, more than 3 million Syrian children were internally displaced. They need the basics. For Syrian families, aid is not always accessible and rarely sufficient. Even when food and water are provided, other essential needs are left unmet. This is where the Karam Foundation comes in. Their Smart Aid initiative focuses on responding to the local population’s needs by asking one simple question: "What do you need?" Their answer: Light!
In early summer of this year, the Karam Foundation responded to these needs by initiating their unique Smart Lights program. They have already reported on the success of their Smart Lights program, reporting that by late summer they have already reached 2,000 Syrian families in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps. Millions of Syrians now live in tents and temporary shelters because their homes have been destroyed or are too dangerous to live in. LuminAID lights distributed by the Karam Foundation allow them to safely light their tents, and bring comfort to families that are left with little. The solar powered lanterns provide a helpful alternative to the fire hazards of open flames and the health hazards of kerosene lanterns. Each 3.0 oz lantern charges in the sun, and provides up to 30 hours on a single charge. With this compact solar light, families are given a safe, sustainable, and dependable way to bring light into their temporary homes.
With solar lights, Syrian children can read and play after dark
The Karam Foundation’s Smart Lights program is part of their Smart Aid initiative. Smart Aid is an innovative program that utilizes a multifaceted approach to solve immediate problems while simultaneously expanding future opportunities.The Chicago-based non-profit has developed self-empowering programs that focus on innovative education, sustainable development, and meaningful aid.
Displaced Syrian schoolchildren use LuminAID lights in the classroom
As part of their Smart Lights initiative, the Karam Foundation distributed lights to Syrian schoolchildren in Internally Displaced Persons camps as well. With LuminAID lights, young refugees are able to read and study inside tents, after dark, and in the many areas without access to electricity. In this way, the partnership between Karam Foundation and LuminAID expands the educational opportunities for these displaced children. Light seems like a simple commodity, but for Syrian refugees the LuminAID lights are an investment in their future.
Rajany Matthew, a peace corps volunteer in Madagascar, distributes LuminAID lights to silk weavers as part of our Give Light, Get Light campaign.