When learning about energy poverty we are often given numbers and statistics, maps and graphs to help us understand the problem and ultimately design a solution. While numbers and graphs are crucial to grasping a complicated worldwide problem, they can often seem impersonal. Sometimes, when trying to understand a problem much bigger than yourself, all you need to do is make it personal. Simply tying a story back to an individual or a place can make it easier to understand and remember. And lets face it, when we can imagine one boy or one girl living without light, we are much more likely to share their story with others in the hopes of raising awareness about a global issue. People care about other people; it’s as simple as that.
Through Nokero’s growing partnership with ChildFund International, students in Liberia are receiving solar lights to increase their study time. Amelia, a girl living in Klay Town, Liberia, is just one child whose life has been affected by our Light to Learn Challenge. Amelia, a smart, caring, and energetic 12-year-old girl lives without a reliable source of light. The only source of light in her house is a kerosene lamp. Kerosene is highly flammable, expensive, and very bad for Amelia’s eyes and lungs, but she has no other choice if she wants to complete her homework or study longer to improver her test scores. If her family cannot afford the kerosene for the night, Amelia must leave her house in search of a light to study by. This could be a street lamp or a light at a gas station. Sometimes, she travels so far that it is too late to return home, putting her at an increased risk for violence.
While this is a heartbreaking story to tell, there is a silver lining. Through the Light to Learn Challenge we are bringing solar reading lights to children like Amelia. In fact, we have already distributed a light to Amelia, and her nightly routine has drastically improved, but remember, she is just one child. She charges her light during the day, and at night she has a reliable and clean source of light to study with. Amelia sums up the life changing power of solar light in a few sentences, “I like Nokero for my study. It can save us from burning our houses. I can use Nokero to walk in the dark. Nokero helps me to pass my lessons in school. I want all my friends to use Nokero to study their lessons too.”
Imagine if every student in Liberia had access to a sustainable and safe source of light. How many more pages could be read per night? How many more lives could be transformed? The possibilities for learning and growth are endless when a child has enough light to read by. Let’s help make sustainable energy a reality for Amelia’s friends. With more people supporting the Light to Learn Challenge and spreading the power of solar light, there are no limits to what can be accomplished in Liberia or worldwide.