It is now a norm that electricity is sparsely available in not just rural Malawi, but the whole Malawi regardless of where you are from. Approximately 93% of Malawians are disconnected from the grid or lack solar-power solutions, while the small connected group is currently going 9 hours without electricity. The rural poor masses suffer the consequences even more. Furthermore, the extensive demand for lighting during the night for studying costing more than 1,500MK ($2USD) per week for light sources such as candles, batteries, paraffin etc. according to SunnyMoney 2013. and this $2 USD cost represents a substantial expense for poor families often living on less than $1USD per day.
In far too many parts of Malawi, night-time academic and economic activities are practically non-existent. Women cannot make productive use of their time to carry out the most basic household tasks. Children who help the women after school hours, cannot study at night without proper light and they complete their homework by candle light, paraffin lamps or a battery powered torch, which is an additional expense for parents. Moreover, without access to electricity, over 3.5 million Africans die every year from harmful pollutants or fires in the home produced by costly and toxic solid fuels.
What If we are determined to bring this entry level solar light to students who deserve it but can not afford it?
I am joining hands with SunnyMoney Malawi in launching an ambitious endeavor that aims to improve the lives of over 60,000 students in Malawi from various Community Day Secondary Schools.
This new initiative through “The Gift of Light” hopes to bring solar lights to be accessed by over 60,000 students by the end of 2019 who will be borrowing the solar light from the library at a very small fee and take ownership of the light at the end of each term.
“The lack of electricity is currently a major problem in Malawi that a significant number of households in rural areas and even urban cities do not have access to electricity. This is a real obstacle to the country's social economic development. Women are losing a lot of money to batteries for them to trade during the night or do house chores, students cant study at night either. I have seen it and experienced it. I am therefore determined to champion this revolution. Why should our aspiring politicians donate a T shirt with their party colours worthy K5,000 which a woman will wear in a month and its finished, in stead of donating a solar light to her which she will use for up to 5 years and help her become more productive? We need to start thinking differently about some of these things”
This initiative is a partnership between IMAAN through the "Think Differently" initiative, SunnyMoney Malawi through "The Gift of Light Campaign" and Kuwala Creatives, through the "Tiwale Talent ROOM" in conjunction with local schools and corporations to aid in the efforts of the campaign by addressing Malawi's worsening energy issue and empowering the next generation with both academic and life skills by setting up solar light libraries and talent clubs in over 200 schools across the country.
Our target is to facilitate the procurement of 20,000 high quality entry level solar lights for with support from different financiers to use in setting up light libraries in 200 schools selected and an estimated 20,000+ people across 10 districts to gain exposure to solar lights through the School Light Library. There are other added benefits of the Light Library project, for example,
increased community interaction with the school, including increased enrolment.
Creating a space where the students can interact with our creative teams and help the students with career guidance and mentorship programs.
Companies, organisations and individuals, can adopt a library by buying 100 lights (which is a minimum number of lights per library) at K4500 each light at a total of K450,000 from SunnyMoney who will deliver the lights to the school, while Kuwala Creatives will help in setting up the library and also come up with a talent/creatives club that will engage the students in talent promotion. IMAAN will oversea the management of the libraries and will be monitoring the impact among the students and the community.
The library will therefore be named after the donor company or any name that the financier wishes to give it in honor of the donation.
Individuals can also donate K5,000 and have a branded light in the library.
for more on this initiative or if you want to be part of this revolution, give us a call on +265995460568 or email us on
LET'S SOLARIZE MALAWI SCHOOLS.
Dennis Imaan is a Global Citizen born and currently staying in Malawi. He loves to share his experiences and lessons with others. Travel, Tourism, Innovations, Media and Youth development are close to his heart.