Turkana is a county in northwestern Kenya. The land is arid and subject to droughts. The people have survived for generations by tending livestock and fishing but climate change and development are pushing their pastoral lands and Lake Turkana to the brink (read more on Turkana here).
Last year, friends with New Ways were traveling to Turkana and took with them 50 solar Luke Lights and two of what was then our brand new Solar Charger & Battery Banks. The solar lights went to students so that they could study at night. The Solar Chargers went on to save a life.
Lenny and Scolastica, two field workers in the community knew of a woman who had just given birth to twins. They made a business arrangement with her on the basis that she would “borrow” a Solar Charger and use it to sell the solar power so that local villagers could charge their phones. She used that income to buy food and support her twin babies. The income from the charger saved a life - quite literally.
Lenny and Scolastica also made a similar arrangement with a disabled woman who had no other way to earn money. She now travels around the village on her tricycle and charges peoples’ phones. She is no longer dependent upon her extended family for their charity and feels empowered by her independence.
We like to say that every light has the power to change a life. In this case, it saved a life.