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Sharing our models – The Solar Light Library Toolkit

John Keane


Today, on World Youth Skills Day, SolarAid is thrilled to announce the development of its new Solar Light Library Toolkit. This is an open source toolkit which has been developed to help schools and development organisations set up their own solar Light Libraries to help ensure that every student has access to light.

At SolarAid, we believe that everyone has a fundamental right to education and young people should have the opportunity to develop skills for employment and livelihoods, to help fight poverty. Hundreds of millions of young people are, however, living across rural, sub-Saharan Africa without access to electricity. This puts people at an immediate disadvantage and prevents students across the continent from being able to study after dark.

Student Dalitso Halario and Head teacher Beatrice Maluza, Kalira School Light Library, Malawi. Photo: SolarAid/Chris Gagnon.

Recognising that we cannot bring solar lights and power to every home, school and health facility across the continent ourselves, SolarAid has made the strategic decision to open source and share the models it develops. We are excited to already be helping others learn from, and replicate our work in order to increase access to solar light and power in rural communities living without access to electricity.

The toolkit has been developed following SolarAid’s own Solar Light Library projects which have shown encouraging results. In both Malawi and Zambia, for example, schools are already reporting improved exam results with students attributing access to light as helping them devote enough time to study.

We hope that this toolkit will help others establish new solar Light Libraries across the continent to help ensure universal access to clean, safe, light for a better education and a better future.

The toolkit can be downloaded for free here.