One Million Lights is partnering with Kwelanga Solar for solar energy education programs and a pay-as-you-go solar light in the area around Cape Town, South Africa. This initiative was started by Ed Bender, the president of Sundance Solar, based in New Hampshire.
This is an ongoing Active Project, so please consider donating today!
Here is the latest update from the team.
Kwelanga Solar is a South African youth run business committed to educating individuals and communities about the health and economic benefits of replacing fossil fuels (parafin, kerosene, etc.) used for lighting homes and small businesses with affordable solar energy lighting products.
Kwelanga Solar offers franchise opportunities for young South Africans living in economically marginalized communities. Aspire Youth is responsible for the hiring and training of Kwelanga Solar sales agents.
Kwelanga Solar products are equipped with the Angaza Pay-As-You-Go (PAY-G) technology. The imbedded Angaza technology allows consumers to purchase PAYG-ready products over time, in affordable increments, just like they purchase cellular airtime or kerosene fuel.
In addition, Kwelanga also offers solar education workshops to youth, teachers, business leaders and community members. Using a curriculum developed by a teacher from PA following STEM guidelines, participants are taught basic concepts of solar energy as the construct their own solar jar light (aka Peace Light).
The Kwelanga Solar business model was developed over 2 years with input from South African youth, community leaders and business owners and local government officials. Kwelanga Solar was officially launched in July 2015.
Current Status- July 2015
-Aspire Youth targeted the community of Mfuleni (Cape Town) for the initial launch of Kwelanga
-Mid-July, Kwelanga Solar took delivery of 200 Greenlight Planet Sun King Eco lights imbedded with the Angaza PAY-G technology.
-Three (3) youth sales agents were selected and trained.
-Aspire Youth, Sundance Solar and Angaza Designs worked together to establish the technology infrastructure for the sales and monitoring of the solar lights.
-Sales fliers and banners were developed and printed.
-With leadership and assistance from two US science teachers 3 solar education workshops were conducted with a total of 50 participants. Each participant constructed their own “Peace Light”.
-Aspire Youth and Sundance Solar representatives met with government officials.
-Shell South Africa requested a proposal for a solar light pilot project in the Limpopo Province.
-The Kwelanga Solar project was awarded a $10,000 grant from One Million Lights supported by the Levinson Foundation.
-Sales in the Mfuleni community were initiated. Feedback from the community has been extremely positive.
-As with any start up initiative, there have been some challenges. Most have been with the PAYG technology and compatibility with agent smartphones and the computer hub.
-Aspire, Angaza, Sundance staff resolved the initial challenges and continues to monitor and improve the processes.
-Projections are to generate sales of 75 lights/month.
-Continue to develop sales agents and identify a location in the Hout Bay community for a launch date of October 1st.