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A year like no other

John Keane

 

As the year draws to a close, I would like to thank all the SolarAiders around the world who have supported our work over the years and, in particular, this year. It’s been a year like no other. A year where we have all had to adapt to a new way of working, a new way of living.

To me, a SolarAider is anyone who shares our commitment to fight poverty and climate change and our dream to create a better world, where everyone has access to clean, renewable, electricity. To bring clean, safe, solar light and power to people living without, be it at home, in the local school or the local health clinic.

COVID-19 response. Delivery of solar products to Mchinji District Hospital, Malawi.

As the virus began to spread across the world, I’d like to thank you, our supporters, for responding to our Moment of Sunshine appeal, which enabled us to quickly deliver thousands of solar lights and systems to help health workers across Malawi and Zambia prepare for the pandemic. We also used our links with rural communities to spread much needed health guidance and information to help people protect themselves.

Together with our partners, we are now continuing our efforts to bring much needed solar light and power to rural health facilities, many of which need reliable refrigeration to store life saving vaccines.

Delivery of solar products to Chipembi Rural Mission Health Centre, Zambia.

Over the years, SolarAid has prided itself in playing a key role in kickstarting solar markets and today, more people are using solar light and power across Africa than ever before. This is cause for celebration and hope, as we strive to ensure that no home is left in the dark by the end of this decade.

2020 has, however, been a tough one, with many solar entrepreneurs struggling in the challenging economic conditions created by the pandemic. Similarly, children have lost much of their school year – Zoom is not an option for most people. That is why, 2021 will see us continue our commitment to not only support solar entrepreneurs, but also help students access solar lights to give them a more hours in the day so that they can study and do their homework and, perhaps, catch up on lost time.

Light Library training in Malawi.

We all want life to get back to normal. At SolarAid, we want 2020 to be the year where we all took stock and agreed to commit to, not going back to normal, but going forward to something better.

A brighter normal, full of opportunity. One in which we all dare to dream that it really is possible to light up every home, school and clinic in Africa by the end of this decade, using safe, clean, solar power.

From all of us at SolarAid, we thank you for your support this year and wish you all the very best for 2021.

Highlights 2020

COVID-19 response

As the COVID-19 pandemic started to spread across the world, SolarAid, together with our supporters, acted quickly. We launched our 'Moment of Sunshine' appeal to provide rural Health Centres and Isolation Facilities with energy. In total, we distributed over 4350 solar lights, chargers and systems.

Tackling solar e-waste

We have been working to extend the life of solar lights, helping customers understand where they can have their lights repaired and setting up repair centres which can repair and refurbish products.