Without access to electricity or sustainable sources of light all members of society are affected, from children unable to complete homework to elderly people struggling to negotiate obstacles in their own homes.
The project does not seek to provide a light (or any prescribed product) to affected communities, rather the emphasis is placed upon empowering communities to manufacture lights suitable for their own requirements. The project is a scheme designed for an international NGO to implement in conjunction with their own work. And seeks to supplement on-going programmes.
Skills, knowledge, basic tools, as well as components (where not offered by local markets) are exported and then implemented as community projects where individuals can manufacture their own lights. By allowing end users to construct lights themselves, the local capacity is strengthened allowing for cottage industries to be created. Capacity building measures reduce vulnerability to communities far more than supplying ‘off the shelf’ products, not only through empowering communities, but by acting as psychological recovery aids.