Welcome Ghana and Burkina Faso. We just ordered 17,280 solar lights for each country.
Caritas in many African countries are considering joining the Su24 project, including Angola, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Gambia, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Burkina Faso and Ghana are the most recent to agree to participate. We are currently in Uganda (44,000 lights), Guatemala (34,000), Burundi (20,000) and Rwanda (14,000). The president of Sun24, Kevin McLean, is pictured above with Caritas delegations from some of these countries. Kevin was invited to speak about the solar light project at the Caritas Africa Bishop’s Meeting in September. (The last meeting was five years ago.) The meeting was attended by Caritas delegations from all sub-Saharan African countries. Most delegations included the national Caritas director and two Bishops or Archbishops.
Idan discussed our solar light project today on Radio Maria in the Diocese of Hoima, Uganda. Idan reports that sales are strong.
Caritas Burundi negotiated the import duties and taxes down from 45% to 5%. This is a huge development. With a lower replacement cost, Caritas will be able to sell the lights at a more affordable price while raising more funds to purchase more lights. The project is now almost certain to succeed. We hope that Caritas in other countries will have similar success.
Idan Woodruff, our summer intern, is a hit in Uganda. Idan is visiting remote villages and outstations, collecting information on the solar light distribution. He just arrived in the Diocese of Hoima after nearly a week in the Diocese of Kiyinda–Mityana. He will finish his trip in the Diocese of Gulu. We are learning much about the damage caused by the kerosene lamps that the solar lights replace. Based on Idan’s observations, we will be adjusting the self-sustaining distribution model
Sun24’s president, Kevin McLean, has been invited to address the national directors of the Caritas’ in Africa at their conference in Dakar, Senegal on September 10. This is an exciting opportunity to spread our solar lights project throughout Africa.
Sun24 is excited to partner with Caritas Rwanda. The sea container of 34,000 solar lights ordered for Burundi is scheduled to be delivered in early September. While most of the lights have already been allotted to Burundi, 10,000 will be donated to Caritas Rwanda. Caritas Rwanda will distribute the lights to its nine dioceses where they will be sold to families without electricity.
Sun24 has agreed to donate 24,000 A2 solar lights to Caritas Burundi. Caritas Burundi will sell the lights in every diocese and use the proceeds to purchase more lights. As always, need not creed. This pushes the total solar lights distributed by Sun24 to over 200,000. Also, d.light has improved the A1 solar light. The new A2 light shines brighter than the A1, three times brighter than the kerosene lamp it replaces.
Rev. Fr. Evarist Guzuye
Parish Priest of St. Mathias Mulumba-Janda,
Under the oversight of the Caritas Uganda director, Monsignor Dr. Francis Ndamira, Sun24 is donating 2,000 solar lights to all 22 dioceses in Uganda. Sun24 is recommending that each diocese sell the lights for about 5.50 USD. (The families should save around 30 USD in kerosene purchases over the 3-year life of the solar light.) The catechists can keep 0.50 USD as incentive and the parishes and dioceses can keep a little to cover their costs. The dioceses should have enough left over to buy one light for each light sold. We are very excited about refining this self-sustaining model.
Sun24 just agreed to donate 35,000 solar lights to Caritas Guatemala. Caritas will distribute the lights to every diocese which will sell the lights for a slight profit to families without electricity. The dioceses will use all funds to buy more lights to sell to more families. The price will be far less that the family will save in kerosene purchases. And, the diocese will be able to be able to purchase more and more lights for more and more families. We are excited about our initial entry into Latin America. We are in active discussions with Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo and India. This is exciting.
Blessed Trinity Catholic Church has raised enough funds to send 10,000 solar lights to its twin parish in Nalweyo, Uganda. 10,000 families will switch from filthy kerosene lamps to clean solar lights. What a great effort by Father Pat and his parishioners. Thanks!
Father Evarist Guzuye just received solar lights to distribute in his parish, St. Mathias Mulumba-Janda, in Kansulu. We hope to have photos soon.
Turkana is the poorest, most remote county in Kenya. We just donated 2,000 A1 solar lights to Our Lady Queen of Peace (Lodwar, Kenya) which is twinned with Holy Apostles Catholic Church (London, England). Father Andrew Yakulula will sell the lights and use all proceeds to purchase more lights. Best of luck, Father Andrew.
Father Michael Mukasa is the director of Caritas Kiyinda-Mityana in Uganda. At his suggestion, his diocese is testing a new distribution model. The catechists will sell the lights for 7 USD. The catechists will keep 0.50 USD of each sale as incentive. The remainder of the funds will be used by the diocese to purchase more solar lights at 4.50 USD. The diocese should be able to increase the number of light purchased each time. With the miracle of compounding, the diocese may be able to provide solar lights to all of its families without electricity in as little as five years. Thanks Father Michael!
Bishop Djomo of the Diocese of Tshumbe is taking time from his normal duties as bishop and from mediating peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo to work with Sun24 to distribute solar lights. We will soon ship thousands of solar lights to his diocese. We are very excited to be working with such an important figure in the DRC.
Father Amedeus received 5,000 lights for distribution in his parish.
Father Andrew Siasa distributes solar lights in his parish in Tanzania.
Father Emmanuel and his catechists. Catechists play a central role in the distribution of solar lights in Africa. Parishes are large and the villagers have no transportation. Many cannot travel to the parish church. The catechists go to the distant areas of each parish on behalf of the parish priests. The catechists distribute the solar lights to the poorest, most remote regions.