When You Give Light...

$15,542 of $13,980 goal

Raised by 109 people in 10 months
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Created December 15, 2017
Hi there!

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.

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
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Heading home from Guatemala today! Big thank you to everyone who donated and supported the Solar Lights Project! This trip has been such a success and helped make a difference in the lives of many families. Thanks for following the adventure!
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Day 3 in Guatemala we visited the village of Oquen to distribute the first round of solar lights (139 lights for 139 families). We also delivered the school supplies that we sourced locally in Chiquimula. Excited to visit Tunucó tomorrow!
Alice distrubiting solar lights to representives of each family
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Day 1 in Guatemala was a success! We had a great time playing soccer with the kids at the Doppenberg School of Hope. We also had the chance to hand out Sew on Fire's generously donated school supplies. The kids loved it and we had a lot of fun! We look forward to sharing more of the adventure. :)
One of our little friends with his new school supplies
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Congratulations! We did it!!!

Because of your support we have raised enough to provide solar lighting for all 233 families. Because we've managed to exceed our goal we will also be able to provide each and every child in these two villages with school supplies, which they would otherwise go without.

Working together we really can make a difference!

We will be visiting with the families of Oquen and Tunuco Abajo, Guatemala in less than a week, where we will personally deliver the Gift of Light and School Supplies. We know that it will begin to make a real difference in their lives. In this case we are making that difference for 1,600 people.

Important Note: Exciting updates and photos from our visit will follow.

One of the benefits that solar lights and school supplies provide is to help encourage children to do their schoolwork.

Amongst the goals for our groups visit to Guatemala will be to check in on our other ongoing projects:

• A Garden Project (in its 3rd year) helping 66 families (400 people) to overcome chronic malnutrition and provide an opportunity to earn some additional family income.

• A Latrines Project where we have installed latrines at each of 200 homes, providing dignity as well as improved health and sanitation.

• A Potable Water Project which we expect to finish by year end- helping to eliminate the hard walks up mountainsides just to get enough clean water to drink.

For your interest we will also investigating several new projects which we hope to get going over the next several years:

• A second Garden Project to help 66 more families (this coming year).

• Potable Water Project - bringing clean water into the 2 villages in which we have helped to provide productive gardens.

• Upgrading 2 local elementary schools, mostly kitchens, latrines and hand-washing stations (perhaps this year).

• Providing Clean Cook Stoves to help eliminate the smoky atmosphere in their homes (two, maybe ore years away). Note: Stoves, candles and kerosene lamps leave their homes full of smoke which can create health issues.

And now, thanks to all of you, we will be able to provide Solar Lighting to these villages, allowing that candles and kerosene can be replaced with a cleaner, safer and more affordable alternative.

With the help of people like you we are making a real and lasting difference.

On behalf of Rotary Burlington North and the Interact Club of Nelson High School we would like to thank you so much for your support!

We are also really looking forward to sharing with you a few photos and brief updates taken during our upcoming trip!

Thanks so much for all your support.

Burlington North Rotary and
The Interact Club of Nelson High School

When You Give Light...
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$15,542 of $13,980 goal

Raised by 109 people in 10 months
No Longer Accepting Donations
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Created December 15, 2017
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Neil Howard
8 months ago (Offline Donation)
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Interact Club of Nelson H.S.
9 months ago (Offline Donation)
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