A LITTLE BIT OF POWER MAKES A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE™

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A LITTLE POWER MAKES A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE

The Global BrightLight Foundation provides access to affordable, practical solar energy solutions to those who need it most.

PROBLEMS & SOLUTIONS

The Problem: Energy Poverty

Over 1 billion people worldwide lack access to electricity. This means that 1 in 7 people live in “energy poverty” and are forced to light and power their lives with candles, kerosene and batteries.

The Solution: Improve Access to Solar Energy

Solar lanterns and solar home systems provide clean, high-quality lightning and cell phone charging capabilities at an affordable price.

ECONOMY

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Problem: 

Families living in rural areas without electricity spend 15-25% of their monthly income on lighting and cell phone charging. In comparison, the typical family in the US spends 2.5% of their income on electricity.

Solution:

People who own solar systems save hundreds of dollars because they no longer have to purchase candles, kerosene or batteries or have to pay to have their cell phones charged. This money can instead be used for essential items like food, health services, and school fees.

HEALTH

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Problem:

Candles and kerosene lamps create harmful pollutants that are bad for people and the environment. Open flames from these products are also responsible for deadly fires.

Solution:

Solar power does not produce fumes or emissions and there is no risk of burns or fires. Studies show the elimination of injuries and vision-related complains when people switch to solar.

EDUCATION

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Problem:

Children struggle to study using low quality light from candles and kerosene lamps, which only provide 1% to 10% of the light recommended by experts for reading.

Solution:

Solar lanterns produce up to 12x more light than candles and give children up to 36 hours of study time on a single charge, helping them reach their full potential.

PRODUCTIVITY

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Problem:

Life in rural communities grinds to a halt when the sun sets, making it almost impossible to do everyday tasks like cooking or childcare.

Solution:

Solar light allows people to be more productive after dark and helps bring families and communities together.

HOW WE DO IT

1. COMMUNITY MAPPING

Our team identifies off-grid communities without access to electricity using a variety of data sources. We also collaborate with established government and non-governmental organizations that serve vulnerable communities.

2. OUTREACH

We visit with local leaders to learn more about their community’s needs and then present our solutions. This often requires traveling hours by truck or motorcycle over rugged terrain.

3. ENGAGEMENT

We host a demonstration that includes information on system features, benefits, installation instructions, and proper care and maintenance. To ensure affordability and long-term sustainability, people are asked to contribute towards the cost of the systems based on what they are already spending on candles, kerosene and batteries.

4. DELIVERY

After receiving a deposit, we deliver the systems to a central location where people can pick up their systems. Our team is available to assist with installation if needed.

5. MONITORING

We are in constant contact with the communities we serve and follow up on any issue that might arise. This includes processing warranty claims on behalf of community members.

6. SCALE

Contributions received from community members are reinvested into expanding our operations to reach more people in need. This means that your donation goes further to helping end energy poverty.

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Our team identifies off-grid communities without access to electricity using a variety of data sources. We also collaborate with established government and non-governmental organizations that serve vulnerable communities.

img

We visit with local leaders to learn more about their community’s needs and then present our solutions. This often requires traveling hours by truck or motorcycle over rugged terrain.

img

We host a demonstration that includes information on system features, benefits, installation instructions, and proper care and maintenance. To ensure affordability and long-term sustainability, people are asked to contribute towards the cost of the systems based on what they are already spending on candles, kerosene and batteries.

img

After receiving a deposit, we deliver the systems to a central location where people can pick up their systems. Our team is available to assist with installation if needed.

img

We are in constant contact with the communities we serve and follow up on any issue that might arise. This includes processing warranty claims on behalf of community members.

img

Contributions received from community members are reinvested into expanding our operations to reach more people in need. This means that your donation goes further to helping end energy poverty.

STORIES FROM THE FIELD

CREATING A BRIGHTER FUTURE

After long days of work at home cooking, cleaning and taking care of her husband and kids, Josefina goes to work in the evening on her sewing machine to fix and make clothes for sale so she can earn extra income. She used to work under the dim and flickering light of a candle, which was very difficult and irritated her eyes.

Today, Josefina can enjoy the bright light of her solar lamp and works comfortably on sewing clothes. Her son Juan also really enjoys spending time with his mom while she works!

In addition to increasing her family’s income, she also saves at least $15-$20 a month because she does not need to buy candles or batteries anymore.  She saves this money and uses it to provide food, clothes and education for her family. With the power of the sun, she lights up her home and provides a better future for her family.

BIG DREAMS

Juan dreams of working as a professional one day. He is not sure exactly what he wants to be but he knows that he wants to break away from the difficult conditions of life in rural Guatemala.

In order to achieve his dream he has to study hard. Juan wakes up every morning and goes to school with a strong desire to improve his life and that of his family. But things are hard in the village. When he returns from school, Juan helps with chores in the fields and at home, leaving very little time to study before nightfall. Around 6 PM the sun sets and darkness descends on the village.

His home has no electricity. His family uses candles and kerosene lamps to light their home. Still Juan sits at the only table in his home and tries to do his homework but the trembling light of the kerosene lamp makes it very hard for him to study. Even more, he inhales toxic kerosene fumes while he studies.

With a solar lantern provided by the Global BrightLight Foundation, his life has changed. Juan now has access to clean solar energy that makes it easier for him to study. When night comes, he can go to the table and work on his homework before going to bed. He now has a critical tool to ensure that his dreams come true.

IMPROVING LIFE AT HOME

For Maria, the simple task of taking care of her infant in the middle of the night was a complicated challenge.

With her battery powered flashlight, she would first check on the baby to see if she needed attention. If the answer was yes, she would light a candle with a box of matches because the batteries for the flashlight were too expensive to waste. It was often hard to find a safe place to set the candle. Sometimes she even had to try to balance it in the crook of her arm. She worried that the candle might tip over when she was not looking, possibly burning her child or starting a fire that could destroy her house. She tried to put these thoughts out of her mind and concentrate on changing her daughter’s diaper.

Today Maria is relieved that she can turn on her solar lantern and focus on taking care of her beautiful baby without worrying about the what ifs. She can even dim the light to the lowest of the three settings and use its gentle brightness to help sooth her child. Even more, she now saves at least $15 a month because does not need to buy candles or batteries anymore. She uses this money to buy more food for her baby and her family. With the power of the sun she lights up her home and unlocks precious additional income.

ALWAYS CONNECTED

Pedro wakes up every morning at 5 am in his little house and proudly heads to his field in a remote region of Alta Verapaz in Northern Guatemala where he grows broccoli and lettuce.

His home is in complete darkness first thing in the morning. He needs light to gather his working tools and his wife needs light to prepare him with food and water to take with him to the farm. In the past, they had to try and do all of this using the feeble light of a candle.

But this was only one of the many problems he confronted. Pedro’s mobile phone often ran out of battery while he was in the fields, making it almost impossible to coordinate the pickup of his harvest with buyers. The freshness of his product would expire in just one day. All his effort and income would be jeopardized.

Today, Pedro enjoys the benefits of a solar lamp. With this simple and affordable device, he and his wife have plenty of light to do all the morning chores before he heads to the fields. He carries his lamp as a lantern so that he can make his way safely to the fields in the morning. He can also charge his phone using the lamp’s USB port. This means he can connect and coordinate with buyers to get his product to market on time. His life and his family’s life have completely changed!

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Lamps Deployed: 73,827

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Lives Changed: 358,404

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Hours of Light: 405,150,000

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Metric Tons CO2 Avoided: 7,382

Where We Work

View Past Projects

Argentina

Number of Systems: 500
Lives Impacted: 1,500
Hours of Light Provided: 2,737,500
Metrics Tons CO2: 50
Implementation Partners: Wildlife Conservation Society

Bolivia

Number of Systems: 3,355
Lives Impacted: 20,130
Hours of Light Provided: 18,368,625
Metrics Tons CO2: 336
Implementation Partners: Energetica

Zambia

Number of Systems: 17,808
Lives Impacted: 89,040
Hours of Light Provided: 97,498,800
Metrics Tons CO2: 1,781
Implementation Partners: SunnyMoney

Haiti

Number of Systems: 5,000
Lives Impacted: 25,000
Hours of Light Provided: 27,375,000
Metrics Tons CO2: 500
Implementation Partners: EarthSpark International

Uganda

Number of Systems: 10,000
Lives Impacted: 50,000
Hours of Light Provided: 54,750,000
Metrics Tons CO2: 1,000
Implementation Partners: Solar Sister

Nepal

Number of Systems: 5,875
Lives Impacted: 23,500
Hours of Light Provided: 32,165,625
Metrics Tons CO2: 588
Implementation Partners: Sundar Nepal Sanstha (BNA)

Rwanda

Number of Systems: 9,289
Lives Impacted: 55,734
Hours of Light Provided: 50,857,275
Metrics Tons CO2: 929
Implementation Partners: Great Lakes Energy, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Wildlife Conservation Society