Nyakantingi village is located in rural Zambia, a two hour drive from the main road into the bush on a dirt road. This is where Agnesi lives with her grandmother and younger sister since their mother passed away.
Their home is near the village school where Agnesi and her sister attend classes with Ms. Michelo as their teacher. It’s a small village school, but not long ago – something exciting happened at the school. A Light Library was introduced. A Light Library is like a normal library for books, but with solar lights. It gives students access to safe and clean lighting to study by in the evenings.
As the village lacks electricity, it gets pitch black when the sun sets at 6pm. The families in the village who can afford it sometimes buy candles to get light in evening. But now, Agnesi has started bringing a solar light with her home to her family. The light is not only helping her and her sister with their studies, it is helping Grandma Agnesi as well.
Every day Grandma Agnesi and her grandchildren used to struggle to get things in order in the small hut. Getting the home ready for sleeping in such darkness used to be a real difficulty, “Before we had the light we used to struggle to make the place ready to sleep. But now once we have the light we’re able to do it even when it gets dark”, she says.
With the light, the new family has also been able to socialise and get to know each other better. After Agnesi has finished her homework and her grandma has been able to use the light to cook food, the family now stay awake a little longer. They gather around each evening and share stories about their day with each other.
Agnesi’s teacher Ms. Michelo says, “The solar lights have helped the children to bond, I say bonding because they have time to chat in the evening, unlike before when they just go to sleep. You know in the village, it’s just that way, one goes into that hut, the other one goes into that hut.”
Some changes have even started to be noticed by Grandma Agnesi, she has seen that Agnes has made more friends and has started chatting about her day and about her school much more than before. Slowly, around the solar light, the family of three is now getting closer.
A solar light changes everything.