[Voice] Solar Lanterns, the Catalyst of Change: Laos, Philippines, Liberia
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.
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."
Using their solar lanterns, villagers enjoy cooking and checking on their chicken coops. Solar lanterns have made life more fun and comfortable for them.
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."
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.
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.