Solar Success in Kenya
In last month's newsletter we featured the delivery of clean light to poor women in rural Kenya. In this edition we look again at this project to examine the impact the solar lamps have had on the women that have adopted them and their feedback on the technology and unique payment scheme.
The Sisari Women Initiative Group (SWIG) is a self-help organization serving marginalized and vulnerable women in rural Western Kenya. Approximately two months ago, SWIG began to distribute K-Light solar lanterns to its women. Prior to this, the families of SWIG members relied almost exclusively on kerosene lamps. The women have agreed to contribute the market price of the K-Light, approximately 22 USD, in monthly instalments over a four-month period. The collected funds will be used to purchase additional solar lanterns.
Time well spent in Oecusse, Timor-Leste
Kopernik co-founders Ewa and Toshi, have recently returned from a successful and productive trip to Oecusse, Timor-Leste. A key focus of the trip was to finalize details for the light up Oecusse project. The light up Oecusse project is an ambitious plan to provide solar lighting to Oecusse households, eliminating the use of unsafe and expensive kerosene. This initiative took a number of significant steps forward during this visit one of which was the testing of an investment/repayment model with several local communities which concluded positively and should work well in practice. Read More
Introducing Kopernik Fellow: Michael Woon
We are excited to introduce our first Kopernik fellow, who will be supporting Kopernik projects on the ground in Oecusse, Timor-Leste beginning in October. Michael has already started working with the Kopernik team in Indonesia and has been volunteering with Kopernik from Boston for the past several months. Michael is a recent graduate of Tufts University. Over the last four years, he has attended the International Development Design Summit (IDDS) in Ghana, volunteered regularly at Bikes Not Bombs in Boston, and worked on D-Lab projects and attended their classes. Welcome Michael! We're excited to have you on board!
Social Venture Partners Tokyo selects Kopernik
Kopernik has been selected as one of five organisations to partner with SVP and benefit from their professional know-how, financial resources and philanthropic passion. SVP Tokyo is a network of engaged philanthropists (partners) that aims to accelerate social entrepreneurship in Japan. In addition to a grant, the SVP team, comprised of professionals in the areas of strategy development, investment, PR and financial management will work closely with Kopernik's management to get Kopernik to the next level.
Sustainable lighting delivered to Inner Mongolia
200 solar lanterns (100 Kiran S11 and 100 Firefly) have been delivered to rural communities in Inner Mongolia. Individuals in the communities do not have access to electricity and have previously relied on candles for light, for which they spend $8.80 on average per month. Now villagers have the option of paying about $16 for a solar lantern which provides a more cost effective, safer and brighter source of light. In addition, by making this investment in a low-cost solar lantern, the community will save money and eventually improve its economic situation and future prospects. Mr Se, who was featured in the July newsletter, recently paid a visit to observe how the villagers are using and benefiting from this new technology. The feedback received so far has been overwhelmingly positive.