Festive sales bring light to African schoolkids

Festive sales bring light to African schoolkids

A Scottish social enterprise has made enough sales over the festive season to provide every pupil at two rural West African schools with solar lights.

Social entrepreneurs and postgraduate students at the University of Strathclyde, Jeremie Warner, 27, and Stephen Spiers, 25, launched the wee PAL portable charger for phones and gadgets in the run-up to Christmas.

Using a buy-one, give-one philosophy, for every charger bought, the company gives a solar light to a child in an African Government school. These lights offer children without electricity the chance to study at night, helping them work towards a better education.

Now, thanks to sales over Christmas, Power a Life is planning its next giving mission to deliver a further 113 solar lights to all pupils living without electricity at a second rural school, adding to the 100 delivered late last year.

Jeremie said: “The lights are charged by the sun and provide 3-5 hours of safe light at night, empowering children with the tools they need to study more and achieve a brighter future. We’re currently working with teachers to measure the positive impact of the first 100 lights.”

The duo are currently planning their next trip to deliver the second round of lights. It takes them up to three flights and a four hour drive in the bush, travelling 3,837 miles to reach their partnered villages. So far they have spent 112 days on the ground in Africa, working with communities.

Jeremie added: “During our trips to Africa, we’ve really been able to see the difference solar power can make for individuals.  On our second visit, I brought a small solar panel for our Senegalese project coordinator to install at his house.  Within one day of setting it up, more than 20 people from neighbouring villages had turned up to charge their phones, saving them a 30km round trip to the nearest town with a charge point.  Word travels fast out there!”