Light up a classroom in Kenya with solar power - and help children complete their education
By The Mwezi Foundation
The Mwezi Foundation believes education is the best route out of poverty. For this reason, we donate solar lights to schools in very disadvantaged communities of rural Kenya, so pupils can do their homework and consolidate their learning. As well as portable lights, we also provide schools with room lighting systems, which illuminate a whole classroom. Although most schools do in principle have electricity, many suffer from frequent outages, and almost no pupils have electricity at home. The room lighting systems mean schools can organise regular homework sessions for pupils in the evenings or early mornings. Knowing that free, non-polluting light will always be available both motivates students and raises their attainment, and boosts morale among teachers. Mwezi solar lights also benefit from our sector-leading 'repair or replace' guarantee - which 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
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.
— Continuing education
Attract the brightest students to keep coming to school and study in homework clubs, away from home pressure to help with chores
— Increased engagement with girls
Girls are attracted to boarding programs, facilitated by room lights, often placed in dorms which convert into classrooms.
— 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.
— Growth in student numbers
Schools with room solars attract more students
With the help of your generous donation, the Mwezi Foundation would provide 5 sets of the ‘Home 120’ solar room light system made by Sun King – a solar energy company which specialises in lighting solutions for off-grid consumers. We are able to buy the sets at cost. We have considerable experience of the Home 120 system, and have found it to offer excellent value for money and reliability. Each set consists of a panel of three 200-lumen lights networked together, fixed to the ceiling and connected to a solar panel on the roof. More details of the Home 120 system, and its technical specification, can be found here: https://www.greenlightplanet.com/shop/home-120/ Assembly and on-site installation would be carried out by our Kenyan technician, John, who works out of our office in Likoni, Mombasa. It typically takes John half a day to install a room lighting system – after which it is ready for immediate use. Teachers can then organise study sessions after school for pupils to do their homework before going home, or early in the morning. This opportunity is particularly valuable for girls, as they are often called away to domestic tasks as soon as they return home, at the expense of their learning. The room lighting systems also mitigate the common problem of households sitting in darkness from dusk till dawn each day (12 hours, all year round, in equatorial countries such as Kenya), during which time it is impossible for pupils to complete any homework.
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will provide The cost of John installing and maintaininng one room solar system
will provide The overhead costs of providing lights to 3 schools and maintaining them
will provide One room solar lighting system with 3 bulbs
will provide The whole cost of providing a room solar light to one school and maintaining and replacing it over 5 years
will provide The whole cost of providing room solars to 2 schools and maintaining them over 5 years
Direct Commitment Ratio:
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Needs Intensity Meter
Global intensity meter
In-country intensity meter
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.