Solar lights showcase wide-ranging impact of safe affordable light for families without electricity
Recognizing the need for versatile aid to help families living with AIDS in developing countries, LuminAID is proud to announce a partnership with American Foundation for Children with AIDS (AFCA). We will be showcasing the work of AFCA supporting children and families with AIDS in Africa. In addition, we will be focusing our Give Light Get Light program on donating lights to AFCA’s work in Kenya, Uganda, and Nepal.
Through a previous effort earlier this year, AFCA has already distributed 300 LuminAID lights to families across Nepal, Kenya, and Uganda. The range of use of the solar lights have shown the versatility of these solar lanterns and the importance of their impact. Children with limited resources are able to study after dark. Women and children use the lightweight solar PackLite 16 lanterns to see their way to the latrine at night (which is often at a distance from the home), reporting improved sense of safety and security.
AFCA worker Frank shares a moment with Kenyan family excited to receive LuminAID lights
Access to LuminAID lights even has a surprising impact on family savings and children’s health. Particularly for families struggling with poverty and the additional costs of caring for children with AIDS, solar lights help reduce costs from other light sources including paraffin, candles, and kerosene fuel. Plus, LuminAID lights offer children and families a safe alternative to fire hazards caused by open flames, and dangerous fumes produced by kerosene lanterns.
Co-founder Tanya Weaver of AFCA reported that LuminAID solar lights helped improve many aspects of life for vulnerable communities. She described how AFCA and LuminAID goals for families overlapped: “Our mission is to help children and their guardians become self-sufficient and for the children to stay in school. Obviously, having [LuminAID] lights helps us with this because the children can study, even when it is dark in their home. For children to feel safe is another unspoken goal of ours...we want all children to feel safe and loved, whether going to the latrine or while lying in a hospital bed.” She added that solar lights helped with all of this without any cost to families or clinics.
A child waits for free treatment provided by AFCA
LuminAID lights distributed by AFCA are also being used in potentially life-saving situations. A local nurse in the remote Kaabong region of Uganda working in a small clinic without electricity recalled one woman arrived in labor in the middle of the night. Attempting to deliver babies without light had previously proved difficult and dangerous, but by the light of a LuminAID solar lantern the nurse was able to safely deliver the baby. She reports that the baby is healthy is well.
The AFCA will be distributing LuminAID lights through their livelihood programs, humanitarian assistance, and medical program. In order to build on this humanitarian work, LuminAID hopes to raise 150 additional donated lights through their Give Light Get Light programby the end of October. The AFCA provides an ideal network for accessing those who can benefit most from access to safe, affordable, and renewable light. Together, LuminAID and AFCA aim to make an even larger positive impact on some of the world’s most vulnerable children.
Rajany Matthew, a peace corps volunteer in Madagascar, distributes LuminAID lights to silk weavers as part of our Give Light, Get Light campaign.