Help Light An African Village With Eco-friendly LEDs

Imagine your kids struggling to complete their homework by the flickering light of a candle. Imagine coughing and wheezing as you cooked dinner over the flame of a filthy kerosene stove. Imagine your horror when an errant step knocks the stove to the ground, setting your entire home on fire.

These scenarios are hard to imagine in a country where electricity is relatively cheap and reliable, but for millions who must rely on fossil fuels for light and power, they are simply a part of every day life. Our friends at Voltaic Systems are working hard to replace open flames and kerosene with the free, clean promise of solar-powered LEDS. For a limited time, your purchase of a discounted solar power and light kit will deliver one to a Malawi village free of charge.

voltaic bogo solar light

Image via Voltaic

Voltaic’s limited edition BOGO solar power and light kit features the new waterproof Touchlight, a 3.4 Watt solar panel, V15 battery, and one of two panel mounting options. For every kit sold, campaign partner Empower will deliver and train residents to install a similar kit in the village of Zatuba in Malawi. Voltaic will also donate a kit on behalf of anyone who buys three or more Touchlights.

“The solar lights will allow for extended working hours and replace or greatly minimize the use of kerosene and firewood,” explains the Voltaic blog. “In addition, villagers are helping to build up assets in the Zatuba Community Bank. Each customer pays the full cost (excluding shipping) amount for the light over six months and those funds go into the community bank. For their part, Empower provides the capacity building, pays for transport and monitors the systems to make sure they are being fully utilized.”

TODAY ONLY the kit is available for $79, compared to a full retail price of around $110.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog