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A letter from Alex in Zambia



I’m Alex from SunnyMoney Zambia.

I moved from the UK to Lusaka, Zambia’s capital, in 2012 and I fell in love with the country and its people. Five years later, I’m still here and celebrating the first birthday of my daughter, Violet.

If you’re reading this letter, chances are you have the light on. The majority of people in Zambia are not so lucky. Many are forced to strike a match to burn candles or kerosene lamps for light every night.

Before I moved to Zambia, I loved candles at Christmas. I cannot bear the sight of them anymore having seen what they do to families here.

On 7th September this year, an 18 year old mother in Lusaka left a candle burning to provide light in the room where her baby was sleeping under a mosquito net. The net and the mattress caught fire. The baby, Eneless Kasala, who was only two weeks old, died.

This story broke my heart. In 2017, no one should have to run the risk of tragedy just to light their home. As a mother, the idea of leaving Violet near a naked flame is unthinkable, but some mothers have no other option.

This has to stop. Millions of people across Africa are risking their lives every night, whilst people in the UK enjoy safe light at the flick of a switch. It’s not right or safe. But, with your help, this is a reality we can change. Can you help?

Solar lights are a completely safe alternative to candles and kerosene.

“One of my children had bronchitis and when we switched from kerosene to solar lighting she no longer had the frequent attacks she had before.” Mabvuto Zulu

By supporting the distribution of solar lights through our social enterprise, you can help us reach more mothers who want nothing more than to keep their children safe at night. Together, we can create a future where children like Eneless can grow up in a safe, well lit, environment – where they can study, eat and enjoy their childhood.

In the community of Choma, Southern Province, I recently met with one of SunnyMoney’s entrepreneurs, Patrick Mpokosa, who told me he had not been selling candles in his shop for 5 years because he now sells solar lights instead.

One family told us:

When my daughter was using the kerosene lamp for studying at night, the following day she was always feeling pain inside her eyes, there is not that problem anymore because of the solar light.

Your support will help spread this solar revolution across Zambia.

A donation of £16 per month will create a huge impact in Africa this Christmas for the people who need it the most. £16 will provide 4 solar lights and reach 17 people, whose families will save over £500 because of your support. These 4 lights will provide over 4,000 extra hours of study time for children and avert over 4 tonnes of C02 emissions.

As a thank you, if you donate £16 or more per month by Direct Debit for 12 months, we would love to send you a solar light to spread the word further. If you can donate £20 or more per month before 8th December 2017 we can send you a solar light in time for Christmas. And, if you sign up for Gift Aid your £20 will be turned into £25 getting another solar light into a family’s hands.

Please help us replace kerosene and candles with solar lights, so that children like Eneless have a chance of a brighter future.

Thank you, and happy Christmas.