Light the World!
A campaign to squash the negative effects of kerosene lanterns on poor families in developing countries
The immediate desire is to bring solar lamps to roughly 2,000 households in Bongo in the Upper East region of Ghana by mid-2014. The estimated population is 20,115. The citizens of this region are among the poorest of the nation and live in an infrastructure with no electricity and treated water.They use kerosene lanterns for their lighting needs. These kerosene lanterns have many negative effects on the population and the environment. The fumes from the lanterns have resulted in many respiratory diseases and other health issues, including blindness; midwives struggle to deliver babies at night; and children perform very poorly in school because they don’t have access to lighting during the night when they have to study or do their homework.
My story is our story! Over two decades ago, I came to the United States with just $50 in my pocket. As a student, it was impressed on my heart to improve myself and return to Ghana to help my people. I didn’t quite know what form this help would take until the day I completed my doctoral degree. The burden to return and help was refreshed as I walked up the stage to receive my certificate! In my recent visits to Ghana, I saw how people are truly suffering and the negative impact kerosene lanterns are having on the people, particularly the villagers. My desire is to be a messenger of hope, to many of these people who appear to be neglected.
Why it Matters
The statistics are humbling…
***1.5 billion people around the world lack access to electricity.
***The smoke from polluting and inefficient cooking, lighting, and heating devices kills nearly 2 million people every year, primarily women and children
*** In the tri-northern regions, including Bongo, approximately 85 percent of the population use kerosene lanterns as their main source of night light.
Your support matters in every aspect of this campaign as we strive to provide:
*** Lighting for students to study at night and improve their academic performance and help close the wide academic gap between the northern and southern parts of the country
*** Lighting for midwives and birth attendants during child birth
*** Reduction of air pollution, respiratory diseases and blindness created by fumes from kerosene lanterns
*** Increase the standard of living of the population at large; mainly the women and children who bear the brunt of the harsh conditions
*** Reduce the potential for burns and household fires by providing light without any open flame or combustive material.
Our objective is to send 2,000 lanterns to the village of Bongo and its surrounding communities. Ninety-six percent of the donations will go towards the purchase and distribution of the lanterns to the people of Bongo and their surrounding communities.The other 4 percent will cover transportation (in Ghana) and operational costs.