Editorials

Light Up The World Doing Good Work

As we mention on our SSL Design home page introduction, almost 2 billion people
in the world live without access to electricity. Many rely on kerosene fuel
as a source of light in their homes, an expensive, inadequate and unhealthy
solution (inhaling the toxic fumes can be equivalent to smoking two packs of
cigarettes a day for the people living in the house!). One organization doing
great work to address this is the Light Up the World (www.lutw.org).
Through partnerships with a variety of organizations across the globe, LUTW
works to install solar powered LED lighting for people living in off-grid communities.
We’ve written a bit about them from time to time, and in the spirit of the holiday
season, we felt it appropriate to share a few of their program updates.

Project Profile: Sierra Leone

The Sierra Leone Lighting for Education Project is an initiative that will
enhance opportunities for education in the Koinadugu district of Sierra Leone.
This project involves the installation of solar panels and 110 LED luminaires
in schools and literacy centers, including a community library. In total, lighting
systems will be installed in six buildings which house education programs in
Kabala, the capital city of the Koinadugu district in Northwestern Sierra Leone.

Luxeon High Power

This project is complementing CAUSE Canada’s education programs in the community
of Kabala. The schools and literacy centers that will receive the solar lighting
systems will support the education of over 1200 school children in three schools,
50 teachers and community facilitators, 700 women taking part in an adult literacy
project and over 1000 people who use the community library. Currently, all education
programs take place during the day and end at around six o’clock in the evening
once the sun goes down. As lighting becomes available, these spaces will be available
after dark and to enhance the lives of the people of Kabala.

The Sierra Leone Lighting for Education Project is a joint initiative between
Light Up The World, Philips, and CAUSE Canada. The Environmental Foundation
for Africa (EFA) and SunEnergy Power International are also partners in this
project. Installations have already taken place in the community library, two
schools and the literacy program’s administration office. Installation work
will continue on the final two buildings in 2009. As of the last update, LUTW
still requires $15,000 CDN to complete the final phase for the Sierra Leone
project. For further inquiries about the Sierra Leone project, please contact
j.kohlhammer@lutw.org or visit the LUTW projects
site
.

LUTW Partner Profile: The Environmental Foundation for Africa

The Environmental Foundation for Africa (EFA) was founded in 1992 in the United
Kingdom, with a primary focus on Sierra Leone. The Solar Initiative is EFA’s
newest large scale project line and began in 2007. Their first major project
was conducted in concert with the United Nation’s High Council for Refugees
and consisted of installations at five medical clinics and seven schools in
areas with a high concentration of refugees, internally displaced persons and/or
returnees in Liberia. Since then, EFA has continued to expand its photovoltaic
program, conducting numerous other installations across Sierra Leone and ‘greening’
its own operations by going solar at its Lakka compound and the Tiwai Island
site it jointly manages.

The installation of solar power systems has reportedly had a great impact
on the areas they serve. The clinics, which each support communities of between
10,000 and 80,000 people, are now completely free from costly generator running
costs and have vastly increased service. The schools can now operate classes
at night, giving a much wider variety of people the choice of an education and
training outside of working hours. EFA is also playing an instrumental role
in LUTW’s Sierra Leone project with contributing roles in project planning,
solar system design and layout, procurement, system installation, and training
the local community on system usage and maintenance. To learn more about EFA,
please see their contact information below: Sierra Leone Website at www.efasl.org.uk

The Gift of Light

Recently, LUTW has developed a new giving program to help illuminate lives
and let you connect a little better to where your gift is serving. There is
still time to give the gift of light as part of the
Light Up a Home for the Holidays campaign
. What better way to reflect the
season than to bring modern lighting to a family in the developing world that
has never before had access to electricity. A gift of $250 CDN, enables LUTW
to provide a solar-powered LED lighting system to a family in need. In return,
you or the person whom you have donated on behalf of, will receive a card with
details about the people served by your generosity, including the GPS coordinates
of their location. Gifts can be made online through their secure website at
the program link above. Pass the promise of LED lighting along! Merry Christmas
and Happy Holidays to you all!

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