We hit our target of £50k to enable the people of Mandevu village in Malawi switch from darkness to light! Thank you to everyone who supported the appeal.

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£52,230

Raised so far

(updated every 24 hours)

Darkness is keeping people in poverty.
SolarAid’s latest innovation, Project Switch, will change this.

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You can still donate to Project Switch using the button above to help fund the pilot project in Mandevu village.

Rose Banda is 35 and lives in Mandevu village in Malawi – one of the poorest countries in Africa. Like millions across sub-Saharan Africa, she doesn’t have access to electricity. Living near the equator, darkness falls around 6pm, and her cheapest option is to use candles to provide some light.

Rose tells us she can’t afford to buy a solar light – even SolarAid’s which is one of the world’s most affordable. A candle costs her K100 (that’s 10p). But because Rose is worried about accidents from using candles, especially with a young child and grandchildren around, she only buys batteries for a torch, and it is very rare that she can afford to. The batteries cost her K450 (45p) and last just two days.

Rose earns up to K2000 (£2) a month by washing clothes for people.  So a solar light costs far too much for her to pay in one go – she barely has enough money to support her family.

Rose Banda talking to SunnyMoney’s Brave Mhonie about why she cannot afford a solar light


Rose Banda talking to SunnyMoney’s Brave Mhonie about why she cannot afford a solar light

So, we have a bright idea…

What if, instead of striking a match, she could simply turn to a switch to light up her home? That’s exactly what we wish Rose could do.  And we need your help.

We have called it Project Switch. This is how it will work.

Working with the community we will install cables, switches and light bulbs in households throughout Mandevu village for free. We agree an affordable fee with the community for each household to rent a solar charged battery – no more than someone like Rose is paying for candles or batteries that only last a few days. Rose simply connects the solar charged battery to her house. When it needs recharging, she takes the battery to a solar powered charging station that we install in the village.  The monthly fee from each household pays for someone to look after and run the charging station and helps creates a sustainable solution that doesn’t depend on aid.

The villagers will then be able to charge their batteries as often as they like. Sunshine is free after all!

This solution will be life changing. It will light up homes, enabling children to play and study safely. No more burns, or even worse, accidents from using candles.  No one in the village will need to buy candles or paraffin anymore, helping them save money and escape from poverty.

The idea of Project Switch was born out of our frustration that we are not reaching the poorest people quickly enough and millions will remain in the dark. Once we can show the new model can work, we believe it can be replicated across Malawi and elsewhere in Africa.

Please help SolarAid make this idea a reality, so we can reach more people like Rose.

We believe everyone deserves access to clean and safe power and lighting in their home.

Thank you for your support. 

John Keane
SolarAid CEO

 

DONATE NOW

You can still donate to Project Switch using the button above to help fund the pilot project in Mandevu village.

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