In rural areas of Nicaragua, many families have to burn candles, wood or kerosene for the simple luxury of lighting. These dirty, expensive fuel sources reduce air quality and make it hard for families to continue their days when the sun goes down.
Power to the People's Solar Lighting Program employs local women to sell high-quality affordable solar lighting solutions to families in their communities. The women make a little extra money and the families in the community save money while reducing their dependence on dirty fuel; a real win-win!
After a very successful pilot program, Power to the People is raising money to expand the solar lighting program by hiring more women to sell lights in their communities! Help us continue to use renewable energy technology to help dramatically improve the lives of people in rural areas of Nicaragua.
For more info, check out our website
Here is the story of one woman that has benefited from the Solar Lighting Program:
Darling Esmelda Jiron is an 18-year-old woman who lives in the community of El Pedregal, a small village in central Nicaragua. She works as a preschool teacher and in her free time sells solar lamps to members of her community as part of Power to the People’s Solar Lighting Program. The Solar Lighting Program, called ¨Luces Para Mi Hogar¨ in Spanish, launched in this community in July 2012. When Darling sells a solar lamp, she not only helps bring a clean, reliable lighting source to a neighbor, she also makes a small comission which helps her family make ends meet.
Darling lives with her parents and since she was a child, her family has being using a kerosene lamp as their only light source at night. Kerosene has become scares and expensive, and due to the lack of kerosene, many families use diesel fuel instead or burn small sticks called Tabo wood to light up the house. All of these options produce harmful smoke inside the house and pose a risk of burning.
The first two solar lamps that Darling sold were to her own family so they didn’t have to use the kerosene lamp anymore. The family lights their 5 by 4 meter living room with a solar light which helps them see during dinner, relax, do homework, talk and make needlepoint.
As a preschool teacher, Darling plans for her morning class at night and until reently, she had to do this by the light of the kerosene lamp. “It was difficult and unpleasant because the amount of smoke”, says Darling. The smoke from the lamp is the reason why she developed a constant cough all day and the constant blinking light of the kerosene lamp has caused her eyesight to get worse. Now that the family has two solar lights, Darling can work on planning the class for the next day with a light that is clean, clear and constant. When she is not planning the class she loves make needlepoint at night using the Sunking Pro, and she use the light to recharge her cellphone as well to talk to family members in other parts of the country.
Darling has successfully sold 12 solar lamps in her community so far and she intends to use her comission to help her family and to buy educational material for her own studies, where she is finishing up her high school degree on Saturdays.