The following post is from Debbie and Robin Hill, two SolarAid supporters who have made several trips to Africa to support health and social care programmes.
My husband and I first visited Uganda in 2013 where we worked voluntarily as teaching assistants at a school established by a Ugandan man and English woman.
Having researched solar lights on the internet, I read an article about the SM100 which sounded ideal for Tanzania. I ordered two and they arrived within a few days. As our departure date approached we packed and re-packed our luggage to ensure we didn’t exceed our weight limit. We included rechargeable DVD players, netball hoops, deflated footballs and basketballs, and a stirrup pump to inflate them. What I like so much about the SM100 solar light is that it is compact and lightweight, with 5 hours of bright, safe light and it is versatile, as it can be used as a desk light, room light or torch.
Busega Scotland is working in partnership with CODEHA, another NGO, and Bukumbi Hospital, located in the northwest corner of Misungwi District in the Mwanza region, to launch a preventative programme in Chole, a very isolated rural community adjacent to another part of Lake Victoria, to reduce the prevalence of diseases such as malaria, typhoid, hookworm and bilharzia. The medical staff screen residents for the presence of these diseases, and treat those afflicted. The educational DVD’s can be used with the preventative health programme (health education and pre-clinical screening/treatment.)
So to whom did I give the Solar lights?
The first light was given to a young female Italian missionary doctor at Bukumbi Hospital. Working with children and adults with HIV/Aids we met her on a particularly fraught day when the clinic was very busy. There is no electricity at Bukumbi. She was very pleased with the light and said it would make a real difference. I gave the second light to Mr Alphonce Kagezi, affectionately known as the King of Igombe because he has so many contacts. Alphonce is the Family Support Project Supervisor, a very dedicated and hard-working man who works mainly in the more rural parts of Igombe, helping women to establish small businesses to enable them to generate extra income to support their children to attend school, and pay their exam fees, buy school uniform and school materials.
Debbie and Robin Hill, Warwickshire, 2017
If you have ideas about how you could help get solar light to those in need we would love to hear from you.