A little introduction to our new charity partner: SolarAid

Just in case you thought this blog was JUST a soapbox for our opinions… here’s something else! We promised that every now and then we’d use it to give you an insight into what we’ve been getting up to as a business, if only to prove that we’re not all solar and no panel. And that just happens to bring us nicely on to the subject of this blog: our new international charity partner, SolarAid.

We’d been looking to partner up with a charity for a while, but naturally we wanted to make sure it was one with whom we would have the opportunity to really make an impact, and that shared a similar passion for progressive, environmental and social projects. Solar Aid is tackling both climate change and poverty by creating a sustainable market for solar lights in Africa. It’s an incredible idea, and exactly the sort of endeavour that deserves both investment and awareness. We’re going to do our very best to help with that.

Founded in 2006, the charity saw the difference that good quality light would make to families in six African countries, including Uganda, Malawi and Zambia. As well as having huge social and economic implications, this clean, sustainable light is much safer. It lessens the reliance on homemade kerosene lamps which emit toxic black smoke and offer poor quality light, as well as being comparatively expensive (often using up to 15% of a family’s income).

Clearly this is important and valuable work. But what really stands out for us, is their approach to the solution. By building a community distribution model, SolarAid doesn’t just make lives better and safer in the short term through selling the solar light – but sows the seeds for a sustainable infrastructure on a national level. They showcase the accessible, everyday benefits of green energy in remote rural communities which are commercially too expensive to reach. It is exactly the sort of intelligent and compassionate business model that we love to see.

You can use our social channels to follow the partnership (we ran a competition in December to kick things off) but we’ll also try to post here with updates about the progress and impact of SolarAid. And finally, a little product plug for the cause: you can buy SolarAid’s very own Sun King Pro ‘All Night’ light here and with every purchase, a donation is made to support the distribution of solar lights in rural off-grid Africa.

Sarah

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