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Communities without electricity in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal received 7,000 safe rechargeable solar lights from One Million Lights, in partnership with Energizer® over the past month to set their futures alight.
One Million Lights, a six-year-old USA-based, non-profit organisation, visited South Africa for the first time to improve the lives of children through renewable and affordable lighting. The South African distribution was the not for profits’ largest single lights distribution in the organisations’ history.
These lights were distributed to schools as an entry point to make a difference in the communities that live in areas without electricity.
Principals and teachers from all the selected schools believe that these lights will not only assist the learners to focus on their studies and perform better academically, but also contribute to a healthier and better childhood for them.
A number of schools in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, and the Nquleni Education Centre in Enqoleni, which in turn provides support to surrounding schools and their communities, received Energizer® solar lamps and torches that will give their learners the means to do their school work long after the sun goes down.
“Up till now, some of our learners were not able to do homework after 6 o’clock when darkness falls, so their education often had to take a backseat,” says Gerald Henley, principal of Goede Hoop School in Regier Park near Boksburg.
“The Energizer lights that learners receive offer more than light – they offer hope and empower the learners to better their lives by working harder and longer when the nights are dark and the demands on them are high. These lights are a means for them to improve their living conditions and enable them to make a better future for themselves,” says Anna Sidana, founder and CEO of One Million Lights.
These lights will also decrease respiratory ailments associated with the use of dangerous and polluting kerosene lamps, and make a great difference in eliminating the danger of fire break outs at the homes where candles are used.
“It is sad to see how many learners have kerosene burn scars on their arms. These lights will eliminate this hazard to keep the children safe,” says Sierra Fan, One Million Lights board member, who joined the distribution team in South Africa.
After the learners received their lights, Energizer and One Million Lights representatives demonstrated how to use and take care of their lights to ensure that they have a long lasting effect. Excited parents that came to the distributions at the schools also attended the training sessions to learn exactly how to make the most of their new solar lights.
Mr. Energizer made his appearance and entertained the learners with his energising dance, using his positive energy to create even more fun and excitement for an unforgettable day. Some of the learners joined in the action to show their gratitude by entertaining the One Million Lights and Energizer representatives with traditional dancing, specially performed by these youngsters.
“By making the learning last longer we are able to empower these communities with our longer lasting power,” says Rashmi Vadivelu, senior brand manager for Energizer South Africa. “We are proud to be involved in this life-changing initiative and look forward to the long-term positive energy effect it will have on these communities.”
If one would like to support One Million Lights and make a donation to bring light to more communities that live without electricity, visit onemillionlights.org or email .