While researching for an energy science fair project in 2011-2012, I found out that a disproportionately large number of people in the world don't have lights. And by lights, I mean electric lights. Communities resort to the use of candles and kerosene lamps
, both of which are inefficient, costly, and hazardous to health. According to the World Health Organization, pneumonia is the leading cause of death of children in Africa
, the main contributor being the toxic fumes of kerosene lamps.
With a few friends, I founded Hopelight because I saw a problem and wanted to help. Our mission statement is to provide safe, affordable, and sustainable to areas around the world that need it most. By the summer of 2014
, we hope to raise enough money to buy 30 solar lights ($~20 each + shipping/handling) and ship them to the International Community School in Kumasi, Ghana
. This will benefit the students and local community
However we can't do this alone. Like any good cause, we rely on the public's generous support, either through donations or sharing of our mission. 68 cents over one month is all it takes.
Like the starfish story
, people often say that one solar light won't fix the problem; after all, what difference will it make? However, it will make a difference in the student's life directly impacted, and that's the first step towards a better world. We at Hopelight believe wholeheartedly in this, otherwise we wouldn't be doing it (we are still in high school). With everyone's help, we can start brightening the future by brightening a mind, one light at a time.
Gavin Mai, David Sorenson, Zach Benson, Katherine Mayo, David Jiang, Ghanashyam Unnikrishnan, Maggie Panetta, Samantha Sanders