SolarAid takes a unique and innovative approach to tackling two of the most pressing issues facing humanity – climate change and world poverty. We strive to enable the world’s poorest people to have clean, renewable power. Energy and poverty are closely linked. Climate change is impacting on the world’s poorest countries the most, even though they’ve contributed the least to the problem.
Barely 2% of rural Africa has access to the grid yet many regions of Africa have the highest levels of sunlight in the world. That’s why we work with some of the poorest and most remote communities in the world, helping them tap into an abundant source of free, clean and renewable energy – the sun.
Using solar energy can improve education and health standards, increase income, allow families to cook, light their homes, pump water, run businesses and much more.
In Mufindi, Tanzania there’s a school with a difference. As dusk falls, the activities across the surrounding farms grind to a halt. But Luhunga Secondary School comes alive in its nightly incarnation. The solar panels on its roof have been absorbing energy from the sun all day and are now charged with precious electricity that they can release into incandescent light.
Each child at Luhunga School receives 28 hours of extra tuition every week because the school is ‘solarised’. Regular students of the school stay behind after dark. Many more, who aren’t able to attend during the day, come to read, study and do their homework after sun-down. Some prefer to work in quiet solitude while others form lively study groups.
Future doctors, teachers and engineers reside the school’s halls after-dark. Here, children can harness their ambitions and feel them becoming more tangible with each study hour invested.
Before solar panels were installed on the school, these students were forced to study in smoke-filled rooms at their homes, by the flickering light of kerosene lamp. The polluting and damaging effects of kerosene burning are well documented. Every year countless children die from avoidable poisoning and suffer from needless lung and eyesight problems.