In December 2013, staff and customers of Lightswitch raised $18,743 to provide clean safe solar lights in Africa. The Honnold Foundation matched every dollar, meaning Lightswitch helped raise a total of $37,486. This generous donation to SolarAid has helped us get 8,000 solar lights to families in Zambia. Through our social enterprise, SunnyMoney, we have been reaching out to schools and their communities to get these clean safe lights to families living without electricity.

Zambian School Campaigns: 2013/14 Highlights
• Working with head teachers to build trust in this new technology, our SunnyMoney teams have supported 433 new schools to participate in our school campaigns, whilst providing on—going support to hundreds more schools that participated in previous campaigns.

• Through schools, almost 28,000 lights have been distributed to families across Zambia, predominantly in the Copperbelt and Southern Provinces.

• 84% of SunnyMoney customers have no electricity

• 90% of customers spend less on lighting than they did before they bought their solar light. On average, families are saving $7.14 a month.

• Customers tell us that they spend the savings from reduced lighting costs on food, farming inputs or investing in their business.

• 89% of customers’ children are doing more hours of homework because of their solar light

A solar case study

Edah Gwali, a mother from the Choma district of Southern Zambia, bought a Greenlight Planet SunKing Pro from SunnyMoney. The family of five relies on income from business and used to light their home with battery lights as they have no access to electricity. Thanks to their solar light, they now spend nothing on lighting, saving nearly $85 a year —almost 15% of their household income.

Edah told the SolarAid research team, “We use that money to buy more food for the family. That solar light, we use it to light the house, when children are studying they use the same light and we also use it to charge people’s phones. Apart from that, I also manage to sell my vegetables in the evening because of that light.”

The children now study for two extra hours each evening, “because of the longer light hours. It is bright and sustains their studies.” Edah rated her SunKing Pro five out of five (very satisfied) “because it gives me business as well as lighting the house at night.” What’s more, she recommended her light to 10 of her friends.