Kids in England raise money to add solar power to African classrooms
Working with the nonprofit Solar Aid, students earn enough to bring electric light to a school in Kenya that had relied on kerosene lamps.
Fri, Jan 18 2013 at 2:59 PM
Sustainability can provide a lens through which we see the interconnectedness of everything.
When office workers save energy in England to fund solar in Africa, they aren't just engaging in your usual feel-good workplace altruism. They are recognizing that what they do in London, and what others do in Kenya, is fundamentally, inextricably linked. It's only by working together that we can really shift our global culture forward and tackle the daunting challenges that we face.
Given the potential for solar power to not just save lives in Africa, but transform school performance, too, it's fitting, then, that schoolchildren in England are actively raising money to help schools in Kenya get access to clean, renewable energy.
Created for the Solar Aid Lighter Learning initiative, the video below explores how pupils at the Greater Kingshill Church of England School explored the topic of energy in Africa, learning about life for schoolkids on the other side of the world and using it as an opportunity to raise serious amounts of money that will genuinely change lives. This isn't just for schools either. This, from Solar Aid's website, reveals how the simple vision of clean power can motivate a group and bring it alive:
"We are asking you to support a school in Africa to access clean safe light in their classrooms by raising £1000 [about $1592]. We believe that you should know exactly where your money is going, which is why the money you raise for Lighter Learning will help a specific school. We will send you photos of their new solar lighting systems with information about the school, including their GPS coordinates, plus a follow-up report on the impact solar is having.
"We believe that Lighter Learning can be a hugely motivating experience. We can kit you out with great photos stories and stats and we'll put solar lamps in your hands to help you kick start your campaign and spread the solar message. We'll support your group's fundraising activities and celebrate your achievements on our website."
We must usher in a low carbon future across the globe fast. What better way for citizens of energy intensive economies like ours to learn about a new energy future, than to help create it in the countries that need it most?
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This story was originally written for Treehugger. Copyright 2012.