FAQ

I’d like to donate by sending a cheque in the post, will it reach you?

If we can, our staff will do their best to deposit cheques as long as we have access to a bank. Please note, this process may result in your cheques being processed and banked at a slower rate than usual.  If possible, we would suggest donating online at www.solar-aid.org/donate. If you would still like to send your donation by post, please bear with us in processing your cheque as the uncertainty around the pandemic will cause delays to our normal working patterns.
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How can I buy some lights?

We’ve got that covered! You can buy from our gift shop.
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Can you tell me more about SunnyMoney?

SunnyMoney is a social enterprise owned by SolarAid. Read more here!
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I represent a business. How can we help?

SolarAid believes in business-based solutions to poverty, so we’d love to hear from you. Visit our corporate partners page to find out what you can do, join the work place giving scheme or drop our Corporate Partnerships Manager, [email protected] an email.
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I work for an NGO and would like to partner with you. Can you tell me how?

Brilliant, we’d love to hear from you. Simply email [email protected] with your area of interest and contact details, so we can put the right person in contact with you.
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Can I volunteer in your London office?

When there are opportunities for internships we post them on our jobs page. Also don’t forget you can help us spread the word about SolarAid amongst your network of friends and contacts. Check our Take Action page to see how people are helping us.
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What’s the customer savings pay-back time like on solar lights in Africa?

Local economies vary across Africa, as do the products we sell. It takes approximately ten weeks for people living in sub-Saharan Africa to re-coup their investment in a study light. Customers save because they no longer need to buy kerosene supplies, candles and batteries.
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Do you subsidise the cost of the light in Africa?

We sell lights at a ‘fair market rate’ so that local entrepreneurs and other agencies can join the market and make a profit too. We do this by taking a hit on the distribution costs. It costs a lot of money to get these lights into remote communities and educate people about their benefits. This is where your donation comes in, covering the cost of getting these lights to the people that need them most.

The more lights we sell, the smaller the margin becomes. Back in 2010 it cost SolarAid £10 to get each light to a customer. That figure is now only £4.

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Where do you sell solar lights?

We work in Malawi and Zambia through our social enterprise SunnyMoney. We also sell a small range of solar lights in the UK. We plan to expand into other countries and will be sharing ideas and strategy with organisations throughout Africa soon.
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We really want to fundraise for you… tell us how!

Brilliant – here you can discover ideas, inspiration find out what others have done or directly donate. If you want to do something different, just let us know what you fancy by contacting Jade on [email protected] or +44 (0) 207 278 0400.
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How much CO2 do the solar lights save?

Use of solar lights means families no longer need to keep kerosene lamps for lighting. It is estimated that a single kerosene lamp emits one tonne of carbon over a lifetime of five years (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 2011). It’s ‘black carbon’ too – the worst form of carbon emission.
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What is your response to COVID-19?

In response to the coronavirus pandemic we have taken action to help ensure the safety of our staff and the communities we work with. As the pandemic progressed, we directed all staff to work from home. Both our Zambia and Malawi team have been scaling back many of its operations as we continue to monitor the situation. We are still dedicated to getting clean light to people living without electricity.

All decisions we make regarding our operations and staff will be informed by the latest guidance from the WHO, national governments and medical experts. We are monitoring the situation daily and regularly checking-in with our staff to ensure that they are all safe both physically and emotionally.

In both Zambia and Malawi we partnered with the Ministries of Health to deliver solar products to health clinics and isolations centres in the dark. Read more about our response here.

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Will my order be affected by COVID-19?

For UK orders: Our senders, Royal Mail and other courier services are operating as normal and items can be dispatched as they usually are. Royal Mail and some couriers are not accepting signatures on delivery so orders with tracked delivery may not have a signature attached. For orders of over 24 or more items we always recommend emailing us at [email protected].For international orders: We have sufficient stock to cover all orders in Zambia and Malawi however there may be a delay in delivering the lights whilst our field teams stand down. This will be remedied as soon as the travel restrictions are lifted and normal business resumes.

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