Meeting Date: 5 April 2013

Prepared By: Dawn O'Bar

 

Unite to Light

Unite to Light provides solar products to developing countries where there is a lack of reliable, affordable energy sources. After 2 1/2 half years as a non-profit organization, Unite to Light has distributed over 35,000 lights to people in 60 countries. Over 30 different Rotary Clubs from Canada to Bangladesh have partnered with Unite to Light to deliver the small solar LED lights to people in at least 10 different countries.

Lights have been delivered to midwives in Haiti and Niger for birthing babies by a safe, bright light. Lights have been distributed in Ghana to provide an income stream for street girls, and thousands of lights have gone to schools and orphanages to promote literacy and education. Studying at night allows students to improve their education. Of the six areas of Rotary focus, the mission and objectives of Unite to Light target at least three: Basic Education and Literacy, Economic and Community Development and Maternal and Child Health.


Unite to Light in India

Here is a small portion of the list of projects facilitated by ROTARIANS!:

  • 1700 lights to Mahuva River side Club in Guarjat, India (schools and orphanages)
  • 2000 lights distributed by Rotarians in Dakha, Bangladesh
  • 500 lights sponsored by Rotary Clubs in Virginia for High School in Sierra Leone
  • 80 lights delivered by Ojai Rotarians to Guatemala
  • 100 lights delivered to schools in Michoacan, Mexico
  • 150 lights delivered to Bribri tribe in Costa Rica by La Mesa Sunrise Rotary
  • 100 lights sponsored by Rotaract Club in San Luis Obispo for Uganda project
  • 300 lights purchased by Edmonton Rotary Club for Mozambique schools
  • 200 lights purchased by Carpinteria Rotary Club for Panama project
  • 200 lights purchased by Los Angeles Rotary for Rotary Club of Kerala, India

Unite to Light in Mexico

 

To view a video about these small solar lights:
Lights in the Darkness - Lighting the World (Ep. 1): 5:15 min

 

 

One of our Rotarians, Ulf recently delivered lights to the Congo. Here is the short video:

Unite to Light in D.R. Congo: 1:51 min


Nancy and solar lights

Unite to Light is preparing to produce and distribute a new product. (Light and charger unit.) This unit will have a USB port for charging cell phones and e-readers. It will also have two light intensities. A pilot project will be in rural Kenya with a school that will receive refurbished Kindles that contain content in Swahili and English. Students will have the benefit of studying late into the night with these two devices. By providing light, and charging capabilities in a single product for the cost of just a couple months of kerosene and cell phone charging fees, we believe that this new unit will empower people to study and work cleanly and safely at night, and gain independence by charging their own phones, and leverage the latest in tablet and e-reader technology.

The long term objectives of reducing poverty and promoting education and literacy would meet two of the Rotary (six) areas of focus.

(Ed. Note: Cell phone usage in Kenya is 89% and is the most popular form of ICT among the poor, 45% of Kenyans who live on less than a dollar a day.)

 
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