[Voice] Bright Changes Created by Solar Lanterns: Reports from Africa and Asia

2019.12.02 Voices

Solar lanterns donated to areas without electricity in Asia and Africa are bringing change to the lives of locals. In this report, we will introduce some of the changes we've learned about through reports from Cambodia, Myanmar, Sierra Leone, and Rwanda.



Farmer Livelihood Development (FLD) is an NGO that supports the lives of people living in rural areas. In the village of Prey Taloy in Takeo Province, solar lanterns are used for various purposes once the sun has gone

When night falls, Ly Lot puts the wood gathered in the brush near the village into a charcoal kiln. "Maintaining the optimum temperature in the kiln is critical for making charcoal. I wouldn't be able to check the temperature properly were it not for the solar lantern, so it is really helpful," he says.


Solar lanterns help out when cooking or going out to the toilet. They are indispensable for work as well as daily life.

Hean Hoy, who lives not far from Ly Lot, uses his solar lantern when making or mending fishing nets. "Not having to buy batteries has made life easier. My wife and children are happy with the lantern too."


Hean Hoy at work

Using their solar lanterns, villagers enjoy cooking and checking on their chicken coops. Solar lanterns have made life more fun and comfortable for them.


Villager Nop Rom washes dishes under the light of a solar lantern.


At People's Hope Japan (PHJ), an organization that provides medical support to mothers and children, midwives and medical volunteers use solar lanterns to provide care for expecting mothers and infants in areas without electricity. They had some positive comments about using the solar lanterns donated in 2017 to the Tatkon Township Medical Office: "We can now provide adequate medical care even at night," and "It's reassuring to have solar lanterns handy when mothers give birth at homes in the night."


Medical staff visiting a sick child at night. Since this area has no electricity, without the solar lanterns they would be working in darkness.

[Voice] Lives Saved by Light: Report from the Philippines and Cambodia

Sierra Leone

One of the lantern recipients through the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is a refugee camp in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. This camp was established following a flood disaster in 2015. Approximately two years since the 2017 donation, the solar lanterns are still hard at work.

Abdulai Kamara says he can feel the impact through his children's studies saying, "My three children study by the light of solar lanterns even after the sun has gone down. Thanks to that, they're doing well at school." Additionally, the light of solar lanterns helps to keep snakes out of homes.


There is no electricity at the refugee camp, so the solar lanterns provide precious light in homes and camp facilities

[Voice] Donation to Four Countries in Africa: Light for Countries with Low Electrification Rates


In Rwanda, solar lanterns are being used in mountainous areas that are susceptible to disasters like flooding and landslides, and where access to electricity is limited. Based on discussions with IOM and regional managers to identify recipients, lanterns are donated to health centers and mid- to small-sized companies that have had electricity cut off by a disaster, or as backup lighting for school classrooms and dormitories in the event of a blackout.


People working at mid- to small-sized companies can keep on working even if a disaster cuts off electricity.