We're a group of High School students who want to make a difference in the world and we've been working closely with The Rotary Club of Burlington North in order to do just that!
The Interact Club at our school, Nelson High School in Burlington, Ontario, has given us a place to do good things for others, both in our local community, and around the world.
One project we are excited about is this small, affordable solar-powered lighting device.
Even though it's little, it can have a massive impact on helping others escape from poverty.
The Rotary club of Burlington North has been working in 2 villages in the mountains of Guatemala for many years:
In these villages, Oquen and Tunuco Abajo, live the Mayan "Chorti" people, who are the most marginalized in an already impoverished country.
• 82% live in poverty.
• 50% of children are malnurished.
• There is no steady work, no social connection, no electricity/lighting/heating or clean running water.
• Most children will not have education beyond grade 6 and there is no extra money for higher education.
These people use kerosene lamps or candles for lighting, which fail to provide sufficient light and also emit toxic fumes and pose fire risks.
On top of that, candles cost around $11 a month Kerosene is $8 month and charging cell phones costs around $12 a month!
these costs represents over 15% of average total family incomes!!
So, why solar lighting?
saving 15% of family income for more pressing needs.
EXTEND THE DAY
If you have light, you can extend your productive time and get more things done, from school work, to making things to sell.
wooden walls, thatched roof and open flames do not mix well!
kerosene/paraffin release noxious gasses that have long term health effects.
We researched a number of units, and chose this solar lantern for a few reasons.
1) It can be sourced locally, so we do not have to pay for shipping, and we can support a local business.
2) It doesn't suck! The panel and light is durable, it charges quickly (6 hrs to full charge) and lasts a long time (90 hours on low, 6 hours on high)
3) It has a USB slot for charging phones. Cell phones are useful in remote areas so that they don't have to travel into town to see if any work is available... they can just make a phone call!
For our friends stuck in poverty, small-solar is now a realistic solution to provide light for their families.
This simple, small solar unit costs $60 dollars and provides light for many years.
We're crowdfunding this worthy cause and we need your help. Even a small donation can go far because 100% of it will go towards purchasing the lights.
To supply, deliver and install a solar unit with the latern on all 233 homes in these 2 villages, we will need to raise $13,980 CAD!
With more light, there is more opportunity…
Thank you for your support. :)
Please note that John Zinkie who manages banking transactions for The Rotary Club of Burlington North will withdraw those donatons which have been made on line into the Rotary Club of Burlington North Foundation Inc. bank account in order that we can purchase the solar lights and school supplies which will benefit the people of Oquen adn Tunuco Abajo, Guatemala.
On their behalf we would like to thank you so much for helping us to make a real difference in their lives!
- Neil Howard
- The Rotary Club of Fergus-Elora
- Terry Hepburn
- Wayne Gowan
Organizer and beneficiary
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