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Light for Lima

During the UN Climate Talks in Lima this December Our Voices – a multi-faith, climate change movement – will hold vigils around the world, to call for an international agreement to combat climate change. All powered by solar lights.

They have teamed up with SolarAid to get solar lights to key locations in Canada, Japan, India, the UK and the US. Holding the vigils by solar light demonstrates one of the solutions to climate change – and how sustainable development is already improving lives.

The #LightForLIMA campaign has already led to donations to SolarAid which will see another 1000 families benefit from clean, safe solar light in rural Africa.

The benefit is no health problems because there are no emissions. I have also been able to study the bible because there are no costs on charging it and the light is bright.” Elifaya Chalubika, Zambia

Our Voices was formed to lift up the voices of the world’s faiths on climate, and to highlight the moral case for climate action. Amongst other events and activities, Our Voices have held prayers in the sea to drive home the devastating impact of rising water levels. Holding vigils by solar light during the UN Climate Talks will demonstrate to political leaders the vital importance of renewable energy and how solar power can help to lift millions from fuel poverty.

Reverend Karen welcomes the SunnyMoney team to his village, Migori, Kenya

Solar lights replacing dangerous and toxic kerosene lamps bring huge health, education and financial savings to some of the world’s poorest people. Across Africa, 600 million people – more than the populations of the US, Canada and Mexico combined – still live without access to electricity. Our work catalyses markets for solar energy which helps families to lift themselves from fuel poverty and move towards a cleaner, safer and cheaper renewable energy future.

The power of individuals to create positive change is integral to what we do. 90% of people who buy a solar light tell their friends and family about the benefits of solar energy. In Kenya, they tell around 25 more people each, highlighting the incredible power of voices to create positive change.

As trusted members of their communities, education and faith leaders play a crucial leadership role. Church leaders in the Luapula Province of Zambia, for example, observed the cycle of poverty their congregation was trapped in, as a result of their reliance on kerosene (paraffin) to light their homes. This prompted some, such as Davies Jeremiah Ngandwe, to become agents of change.

“Paraffin is expensive, and it is dangerous… our people are poor as majority of them are subsistence farmers and when their house burns down or a child is made sick because of the fumes, they suffer more”. Davies Jeremiah from the N’Jelika Mission Centre adding

A community centre in the making

Church leaders in Luapula have now helped many in their congregation to buy solar lights, and have saved money with which they can build a new community building at the N’Jelika MissionCentre.

To take part in the solar lit vigils on the 7th December, please visit: ourvoices.net/lima

To help Light the Way for more families in rural Africa to access to clean, safe solar light please donate here.

Please note that all gifts made by UK residents will be DOUBLED by the UK government until 5th February 2015.