Give the gift of solar light this Christmas! For just £13 you can change children's lives.
By The Mwezi Foundation
The Mwezi Foundation believes education is the best route out of poverty. For this reason, we donate portable solar lights to schools in very disadvantaged communities of rural Kenya. These lights are loaned to pupils overnight, on a rota basis, so they can do their homework. This not only motivates them to work hard, but also enables them to consolidate their knowledge and do better in their exams. We focus our support on the last years of Kenyan primary school (age 12-14), as students prepare for the national Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exam. A strong KCPE performance opens the door to a secondary school place. With sustained use of Mwezi lights, more pupils do well in the KCPE and progress to secondary to complete their education. Our solar lights are also environmentally friendly, as they typically replace a polluting kerosene lamp. And our sector-leading 'repair or replace' guarantee means they last longer, helping more pupils and maximising funders' money.
People: Social Impact
Number of Lives Impacted:
Planet: Environmental Impact
Topic and Activity Grid
Children & Youth
Education & Training
Research & Development
Project Outcome Indicators
— KCPE exam scores
The KCPE is a national Kenyan exam taken at the end of primary school (age 13-14). We record a baseline average score for the latest cohort when we start working with a school, and expect this average to rise with sustained use of our lights.
— Lifespan of each Mwezi light
We expect each light to last up to 5 years and help up to 5 cohorts of pupils. This is far above the industry norm for solar lights. We achieve this by ensuring schools look after their lights well, and by quickly repairing any that do break down, rather than consigning them to landfill.
— Loss rate of lights
We aim to ensure that no more than 10% of our lights are lost or irretrievably damaged each year. We will achieve this by working closely with teachers and pupils to promote good care of the lights, and wider community accountability for them.
— Repair guarantee for lights
We offer a sector-leading 'repair or replace' guarantee. Subject to schools exercising due care, any malfunctioning light will be replaced on our next visit. The broken light will then be repaired in our workshop and redistributed. If it is irretrievably broken, all possible parts will be salvaged.
— Longer-term outcomes
We have a pilot group of 4 schools who are tracking long-term outcomes for pupils after primary school, whether they go on to secondary or not. We believe this work will show that students completing their education are much more likely to break out of poverty than those who do not.
— Ratio of lights to pupils
Our goal is to provide 1 light between 2 pupils in our partner schools. Currently the ratio is higher, due to lack of funds and huge class sizes (often over 100 pupils per class) in many schools. However, we expect that if we can achieve this ratio, pupils' attainment will rise significantly.
Your generous £13.00 donation will pay for an additional Mwezi portable solar light, which our Kenyan technician John will assemble in our workshop in Likoni, Mombasa. One of our two Kenyan schools managers, Dorcas and Julia, will then take it as part of a set to donate to one of our rural partner schools in Kenya's Coastal region, where almost no homes have electricity, even though night lasts from 6pm to 6am every day of the year. Teachers there will assign your portable light between 2-3 pupils to share, so they can take it home in the evenings to do their homework. It's as simple as that! This vital light also operates as a beacon of hope. Not only does it motivate pupils to work hard at their studies, but it also boosts morale for teachers, who can often feel unsupported in what are seen as hardship postings, as they struggle with poor infrastructure and sometimes community apathy towards education. The effect of the lights on girls is particularly pronounced: once parents see their daughter issued with a light, they are more likely to prioritise her education and encourage her to study. But boys benefit greatly too - Mwezi lights raise aspiration and attainment across the board.
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will provide 1 portable solar light to share between 2-3 pupils, over up to 5 years: total 10-15 pupils helped
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How does this work?
Goal 1: No Poverty
This goal focuses on the poor and vulnerable, and aims to: reduce the population living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions, build a policy environment that is supportive of the poor and vulnerable, ensure that the poor and vulnerable have equal rights to economic resources and basic services, land & property, and reduce their exposure to the risks of economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters.
Goal 2: Zero Hunger
This goal focuses on all areas of food access, nutrition, agricultural productivity, sustainable production and consumption systems, and fostering a resilient ecosystem to shocks and disasters by promoting the diversity of crops. In addition it promotes investment in rural infrastructure, makes a commitment to addressing trade issues, and to oversee a functioning food commodity market.
Goal 3: Good Health And Wellbeing
This goal covers all aspects of health and wellbeing from infant mortality to effective service provision to those suffering from substance addiction. There are special commitments to ensuring access to affordable healthcare, the development of disease treatment, cure and prevention, and to strengthen the capacity of all countries for early warning, risk reduction and management of global health risks.
Goal 4: Quality Education
This goal seeks parity in access to education. There is specific focus on areas of early years development, and throughout the educational landscape, from literacy and numeracy to technical and tertiary education. There is a specific mention of upgrading educational infrastructure to be fully inclusive in terms of gender, disability and culture, offering bursaries and scholarships to address imbalances, and also to ensure high quality training and supply of educators.
Goal 5: Gender Equality
This goal seeks to end all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere. There is a specific focus on violence, trafficking and other types of exploitation, as well as a recognition of unpaid care work, provision of basic public services, and full reproductive and sexual rights. In the spirit of equality of access and opportunity, there is a workplace leadership and economic element, as well as the creation of an empowering policy environment for women and girls at all levels.
Goal 6: Clean Water And Sanitation
This goal champions universal and equitable access to water and sanitation for all people. There is an element around hygiene promotion, efficiency of use, championing the building and maintenance of appropriate infrastructure and technologies, and building strong international partnerships to ensure equality and sustainability of water and sanitation services worldwide.
Goal 7: Affordable And Clean Energy
This goal focuses on access to energy in a way that is modern, affordable, sustainable and reliable. There is also a commitment to promote and expand the share of energy production by renewable means, championing research and investment into energy efficiency and technologies, and ensuring that the infrastructure and technology has the capacity to support these aims, especially in developing countries.
Goal 8: Decent Work And Economic Growth
This goal covers all aspects of sustainable economic growth and providing full and productive, decent work for all people. The goal is progressive in its promotion of development-oriented policies around entrepreneurship and job creation, resource efficiency, and an end to forced labour and slavery. There’s also a special consideration to reducing the unbanked population, and promoting an integrated strategy around the future of work and the employment of young people.
Goal 9: Industry Innovation And Infrastructure
This goal supports the building of infrastructure and innovations to promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation. The focus is on equality of access to economic development within countries, regions and across borders. There is specific promotion of research and development of technologies both in country and cross-border, and in turn increase access to connectivity, information and communication through access to the internet.
Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities
This goal seeks to reduce inequality within and among countries, in terms of economic, social, and political inclusion. There is a commitment to achieve and sustain the income growth of the bottom 40 percent of the population at a rate higher than a national average, reduce and eliminate discriminatory laws and practices, monitor international financial markets, encourage development assistance and financial flows, from nation states to individuals in the form of remittances.
Goal 11: Sustainable Cities And Communities
This goal pertains to the urban environment in terms of safety, sustainability, respect for heritage, environmental considerations, and the connectivity between urban, peri-urban and rural settlements and areas. Specifically, ensuring that cities are safe, inclusive and of net benefit to its inhabitants, the wider population, and the planet as a whole.
Goal 12: Responsible Consumption And Production
This goal promotes the move towards sustainability of consumption and production on a national and global scale, and covers everything from transparency and clarity on consumer choice, to the sustainable management of waste from industrial production. This Goal specifically looks at influencing businesses (through recommendation and policy) to incorporate sustainability into their procurement, staffing, and reporting, such that sustainability is embedded in the consumption and production cycle.
Goal 13: Climate Action
This goal covers all aspects of addressing and combating climate change. From strengthening resilience of populations at risk of natural disasters and climate based hazards, to education at a human and institutional level on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning.
Goal 14: Life Below Water
This goal encompasses all elements of the protection, restoration and sustainable use of our oceans, seas and marine resources. With an emphasis on reducing marine pollution, increasing the resilience of coastal and marine ecosystems, research on and minimisation of marine acidification, and sustainably managing water-reliant economies to ensure biodiversity while also ensuring fair work and income for those dependent on the oceans.
Goal 15: Life On Land
This goal encompasses all elements of the protection, restoration and sustainable use of our terrestrial ecosystems. This includes a commitment to protecting forests, creating a coherent plan against soil degradation, desertification, and the destruction of habitats of flora and fauna, all of which are critical to biodiversity and sustainable development. This is to be encouraged at a policy level, with a commitment to mobilise resources (financial and non-financial) to enable this conservation.
Goal 16: Peace, Justice And Strong Institutions
This goal focuses on the promotion, development, and maintenance of strong institutions to ensure peace, justice, and inclusion in society. This is detailed as promoting transparency, reducing crime in all forms including terrorism, violent and financial crimes, ensuring every individual is provided a legal identity and has equal and fair access to these institutions.
Goal 17: Partnerships For The Goals
This goal promotes working together, which will strengthen the means of implementation from a local to a global level to achieve sustainable development. Specifically the partnerships are divided into financial, technological, capacity-building, trade, policy and institutional coherence, including multiple stakeholders, and monitoring and accountability. By partnering on any or all of these bases will assist in the reliable achievement of the other 16 Goals.
Five Pillars Graph:
How does this work?
Your project is addressing the following pillars:
An end to poverty and hunger in all their forms and dimensions. A world where all human beings can fulfil their potential in dignity and equality, and in a healthy environment.
Protecting the planet from degradation, creating cycles of sustainable consumption and production, management of natural resources and taking action on climate change. This is all to ensure the planet can support the needs of present and future generations.
Fostering peaceful, just, and inclusive societies that are free from fear and violence. This is a necessary state for sustainable development.
Ensuring that all human beings can enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives, and that technological, social and economic progress occurs in harmony with nature.
To mobilise the means required to achieve the other four impact themes, through including the participation of all countries, stakeholders and people.