Voices of Solar Lantern Users: India
World Vision Vietnam, an international non-governmental organization dedicated to supporting development and emergency humanitarian relief, has sent us a report on how donated solar lanterns are being used. Despite Vietnam's high electrification rate of 96% nationwide, there still exist many villages without electricity, especially in mountainous areas. Even some villages with electricity experience frequent blackouts due to insufficient supply. In those villages, the solar lanterns have many uses, including providing light for children's studies at night, and local women's gatherings.
Hello, this is Than Thi Ha, from World Vision Vietnam. The solar lanterns donated in March 2016 have been delivered to the Districts of Nhu Thanh and Quan Son. Approximately 5,000 people and 3,000 children have benefitted from this donation.
In Nhu Thanh, we collaborated with the local government on the delivery. The lanterns were delivered to a variety of places including village community centers, elementary schools, kindergartens, boarding schools, and homes without electricity. All of the recipients, women, men, the old, and the young alike were happy to receive their solar lanterns.
Minh, who runs a farm in the off-grid village of Quang Dai gave us a comment.
"Until now, the children studied by the light of a kerosene lamp, which was too dim and made studying difficult. At times, they would use my cell phone as a light. Now with the solar lanterns, they can study well at home."
In Quan Son, community leaders, after discussion, decided to distribute the solar lanterns to children's reading circles, households with children, and local women's groups that gather at night in off-grid villages.
Until now, children in villages without electricity had to study by the light of flashlights and candles, which made studying difficult. Hieu, a ninth grader commented, "I used flashlights to study at home until now, but they'd often run out of batteries and I couldn't continue with my studies. Now with these solar lanterns, I can study as much as I want."
In the recent donation, thanks to the cooperation of local governments and community leaders, we were able to distribute the solar lanterns after thorough explanations on how to use them. In particular, children who previously had difficulty studying at night were very happy that they could now study more easily. We send you our sincerest gratitude once again this year, and will report again in the future on how the solar lanterns are used.