With a huge amount of help from our amazing supporters, solar lights are changing lives across some of the poorest regions of Africa. When our social enterprise, SunnyMoney, first started selling lights back in 2006 there were around 40,000 on the market. Thanks to their market building initiatives that figure now stands at 11.5 million, with SunnyMoney accounting for more than 10% of these.
For something so small, solar lights have a huge impact. They improve health, save money, encourage study, extend the working day and increase well-being and safety. These are issues we’ve been researching and measuring for the last 5 years and have amassed a wealth of information.
However, one of our supporters has shown us a new use for solar lights. Joseph Karanja is using SunnyMoney solar lights to promote peace in East Pokot, an area of Baringo County, Kenya. For generations cattle rustling has been common place, with clashes between communities leading to a culture of violence and conflict.
Joseph was asked by Joseph Kwopin, an elder in the Pokot community, to come and help the villages open communication channels through the exchange and use of solar lights. Joseph has already had success with similar initiatives in Eldoret, mentioned in a previous blog.
Pokot elder Joseph Kwopin see here with his Sun King Mobile
Joseph has shown that there are many uses for solar lights, way beyond those you would ordinarily imagine. All it takes is a little perspiration and a little inspiration and lights can be used to change the future of communities forever. It was Al Gore who said “solar equals freedom” and now, thanks to Joseph, we can say “solar equals peace”.
From everyone at SolarAid, keep up the great work Joseph. Please watch and share this short video to show your support.