A visit to Esther's house
In 2020, Esther was one of the 2,000 SunBell recipients through Yara’s Action Africa Initiative. Since then, Esther is no longer using kerosene as a light source and does not have to walk long distances and pay to charge her mobile phone.
Esther is a smallholder farmer in Kenya growing vegetables, mainly collard greens and avocado. She lives with her family of eight members – her husband, four children and two grandchildren on a small, beautiful plantation.
With great support from Innovation Norway, we had the chance to pay Esther a visit in October 2021. It was such a pleasure to meet Esther and see how the SunBell has changed her life.
“Our family has been using the SunBell every day since we got it, especially the gooseneck”, Esther happily shared with us.
Esther has replaced the toxic kerosene lamp with the SunBell and she can charge her phone without the need to walk long distances and pay for it. The SunBell can charge her phone 100%, allowing her to stay connected at all times. When we came to visit her, her husband asked “Esther, where did you meet your new friends?” and she proudly replied: “On the Internet”. The look on her face made our day.
Esther and Home 800 TV system
In this visit, we brought her a gift as a thank you for sharing her story – a Home 800 TV system that includes three lamps, two tube lights and a 24-inch TV. In her surrounding area and the nearest village of around 1,000 people, Esther is the only one she knows that has a television. She is now planning to use the products she received from BRIGHT to start a small business to sell phone charging time to other villagers.
2,000 SunBells donated to farmers through Action Africa
By joining Yara’s Africa Connect Initiative, BRIGHT wanted to bring on-grid opportunities to off-grid families, helping the farmers to stay connected. BRIGHT’s SunBell can provide up to 120 hours of light per charge as well as the possibility for mobile charging. The SunBell is a clean and safe option compared to the standard kerosene lamps many families would normally use.
The SunBell offers the opportunity to save money by replacing batteries, kerosene, diesel, and expensive mobile-charging time with solar-powered lighting and charging. It also leads to healthier environments as people no longer inhale toxic fumes.
Access to light provides protection and increases safety by reducing the risk of assault and violence, particularly against women and children. Apart from that, access to energy enables the opportunity to connect to a bigger community via mobile phone. BRIGHT’s vision is to provide light and enable connectivity to positively change people’s lives. To do so, it is important to get over all the barriers of geographical distance and limitations in distribution to reach the markets where our products can work best and create the most value for our users.
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