Light a Village

Solar lifht technicians stand in front of their van.

Only 6.6% of the rural population in Malawi is connected to electricity.

This means that when the sun sets, the majority of the population in rural Malawi are living in total darkness. This is energy poverty.

Without access to electricity, families are forced to turn to dangerous alternatives such as homemade torches, candles and kerosene lamps. These options aren’t only expensive, but they are also imperilling health, impairing education, and emitting astonishingly high amounts of carbon into the atmosphere.

A village in Nitchisi, Malawi.

Traditional Authority Kasakula, Ntchisi District, Malawi, Chris Gagnon/SolarAid.


Our ground breaking innovation, Light a Village, is working to change this, one village at a time. Working towards total community transformation, we provide each household with a solar home system as well as schools and clinics in the area. In line with our trade-not-aid model, we train local staff to install and repair the solar home systems creating long-term, sustainable income.

Light a Village began as a pilot in Ntchisi, Malawi. We worked alongside the community and government to create a programme that brought light to all 500 homes in the village, as well as the local school and clinic. Every home received a solar home system free of charge and pay for their energy usage on a pay as you go basis.

Having access to clean, safe, and affordable solar light in the evening drastically improves the wellbeing of the community. Not only do the homes in Ntchisi have light, but children will be able to study more, household health will improve, families will save money and feel safer after dark.

A solar light truly changes everything.

Kesilina and her son sit outside their home.
"The day the light was switched on, I felt so good in my heart because I was able to see everything. Even if a bug was moving there, it was seen. Even outside it was bright like day but it was night."
Kesilina Chiwoza

Kesilina, One Year On

Kesilina lost everything to a house fire, but still had to make the choice between using dirty and dangerous fuels or total darkness. With the flick of a switch, everything changed.

A candle is lit in the dark.