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7000 solar lights distributed to rural communities

One Million Lights, a United States non-profit organisation, has been visiting South Africa for the first time distributing solar lights learners. PHOTOS: Supplied

One Million Lights, a United States non-profit organisation, has been visiting South Africa for the first time distributing solar lights learners. PHOTOS: Supplied

Communities without electricity in Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal received 7000 rechargeable solar lights from One Million Lights, a United States non-profit organisation, over the past month. The organisation which provides clean healthy lighting to poor rural villages across the world, has been visiting South Africa for the first time with the South African distribution being the initiative’s largest single lights distribution in the organisations’ history.

Zydelia Kleinhans, account coordinator at Reputation Matters, says the lights are being distributed to schools to make a difference in communities, contributing to a healthier childhood for learners and assisting them to perform better academically. She says schools including Goede Hoop Primary School in Reiger Park, Kwaggafontein Primary Farm School in Krugersdorp and the Nquleni Education Centre in Enqoleni have received solar lamps and torches enabling them to do school work once the sun goes down.

“Once learners received their lights, One Million Lights representatives demonstrated how to use and take care of their lights to ensure they have a long lasting effect. Excited parents attended the distributions and training sessions at schools to learn how to make the most of their new solar lights,” she says.

Representative from One Million Lights distributed 7000 rechargeable solar lights over the past month to Gauteng and Kwa-Zulu Natal schools.

Representative from One Million Lights distributed 7000 rechargeable solar lights over the past month to Gauteng and Kwa-Zulu Natal schools.

Gerald Henley, principal of Goede Hoop Primary School, says until now some of their learners were not able to do homework after 18:00 when darkness falls so their education often had to take a backseat. He says the lights learners received offer more than light, they offer hope and empower the learners to better their lives by working harder and longer during the hours after sunset.

Anna Sidana, founder of One Million Lights, says she believes all children should have access to a clean and eco-friendly solutions to light, which enable them to study at night and add value to the time they spend with their families. She says these lights are a means for learners to improve their living conditions and enable them to make a better future for themselves.

“These lights will also decrease respiratory ailments associated with the use of dangerous and polluting kerosene lamps, making a difference in eliminating the danger of fire break outs in homes where candles are used. We aim to replace dangerous and polluting kerosene lamps with solar lights in communities where people are dependent on non-renewable and toxic fuels for their lighting needs,” says Sidana