Unite to Light Blog
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The Importance of Being Nimble

April 16, 2019
On March 15, 2019 Cyclone Idai made landfall in Mozambique. The wind and flooding would impact over 3 million people in the region and end the lives of over 1,000. A month later and 1.6 million children are still in need of aid with reports of Cholera topping 5,000. 

Sadly news was slow to reach the western world and the tragedy continues to unfold. A week after the Cyclone hit, Unite to Light was communicating with our partners in Zimbabwe about the extent of the damage in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and the surrounding regions. Entire cities flooded, infrastructure washed away and family members perished. We always try to help in a disaster, but hearing first person accounts from our friends catalyzed us to move quickly. 

Flooding in Mozambique
​​​​​​​(photo by the Weather Channel)
We had several hundred solar Luke Lights at the offices of our partner Alight Zimbabwe Trust (AZT). Lights had been given to them on consignment, with the hope that they would resell them and create jobs and economic growth. Unfortunately, the Zimbabwe dollar crashed shortly after the lights were delivered. Luckily that meant that there were lights in Zimbabwe, available for aid. 

AZT contacted Zimbabwe Red Cross Society to see if they could use our lights in their recovery efforts. They enthusiastically agreed and we set out to raise the funds to pay for the lights. In one week, we raised $3,500 - enough to give 350 lights to the Red Cross. 

The lights were distributed within the week by the Red Cross to their first responders and victims of the disaster. We are grateful to our supporters for funding these lights and for our partners in Zimbabwe for getting them into the hands of people who needed them the most. By being flexible and nimble, AZT and Unite to Light were able to help people who had lost everything. 

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