It costs SolarAid just £5 to get a solar light into rural Africa.
Solar lights like the one that has helped Cecilia’s children study for an extra hour each night and save £2.15 usually spent on dangerous kerosene for light every week, money that she has invested in her mandazi business and on better food.
This week, SolarAid have the chance to TRIPLE every donation. So £30 becomes £90 – and 18 solar lights!
Every donation made will go three times as far and help many more families like Cecilia’s benefit from safe clean solar light.
This Christmas SolarAid is taking part in The Big Give Christmas Challenge. Which means any donation made here on the 5th, 6th and 7th December will be doubled. Not only that, but the UK government are supporting SolarAid all winter - if you live in the UK they will match your gift again. So your donation will be tripled!
Amongst all the madness of Christmas shopping, dinners and drinks – a donation to SolarAid could be the best £5 you spend all Christmas. Donate here and help spread the sunshine!
And this is the reason I’m back on tumblr, time to spread the word again…
Our friends at SolarAid have just launched a new Crowdfunding campaignand need your help to bring6000 life-changing solar lights to rural Kenya. I would love it if you can support them by donating or spreading the word on Facebook or Twitter – here’s a link to theircrowdfunding page - where you can also get your hands on these incredible lights as a thank you for getting involved.
Harvest time is coming up, so if they can get their teams to rural communities now they will be able to get lights to students and their families – 30,000 people living without electricity.
Just got an exciting email from SolarAid to say it’s the start of ‘a week with Brave’ from the Malawi team. This is the first of three videos (next two to follow) where Brave uses his own experience to talk about what life in rural Malawi without electricity is really like, and why he’s committed to helping people across Africa move from kerosene lamps to solar with SunnyMoney.
So sadly I’ve finished in Malawi for now and have had to say goodbye to the SolarAid team! Thanks so much to them all for making me feel really welcome, it’s been an excellent 4 months that has flown by. Fingers crossed I’ll be able to visit again soon.
In the meantime, I wish the team all the best - with the amount of hard work and energy they put in, SunnyMoney Malawi has a very bright future! (excuse the pun..!)
In my last week in Malawi I went to visit customers at Citrefine Plantations on the Viphya plateau south of Mzuzu. I was keen to see them as they’d been having a few problems with the products they bought. It seems that while some customers are very happy - Lucia above seemed delighted with her PP Senior - others were excited to have a replacement for candles at last, but after a while experienced various technical difficulties with the solar products that led to disappointment.
There were some very useful lessons learnt from the trip, including ideas to reduce similar problems in future:
more comprehensive training in how to use and assemble the products
provision of instructions in the local language
having a nearby SunnyMoney entrepreneur/dealer to be on hand to help in case of problems and trained in repairs
These are now being incorporated into the SunnyMoney after-sales service strategy to further improve customer care. They are excellent products being sold so it’s really important that customers don’t lose confidence.
When we were surveying traders in Karonga, one of them wasn’t selling solar products and hadn’t previously - yet she was proudly displaying this Tough Stuff poster!
Mrs Mtambo has a large solar system for lighting her shop and house. Her husband picked up the ToughStuff poster in Karonga boma and she said people see it, along with the solar panel on the roof, and are really interested - it even attracts people to the shop specifically. She said they’d be very likely to stock solar lights if given the opportunity. Hopefully SunnyMoney will be able to provide that opportunity as they build up the distribution infrastructure.
After my previous post about Likoma, this article in The Nation on Friday (ironically Friday 13th..) caught my eye. With the Ilala out of service until September it means that Likoma and Chizumulu islands are cut off from essential deliveries - not only ESCOM’s diesel and the stock of solar systems brought in by SunnyMoney dealers, but even essential food and medical supplies. It’s a big concern and I really hope they find a solution.