d.light, East Africa
Life has been very bad. The light would go out, and we would be stuck in darkness. You can get bit by a snake in darkness. You can fall down and break your hand in darkness.
When you have light, life is good. Life is heaven.
I am mother of eight and work for a mission to help very needy children. We keep a calf and some chickens for milk and eggs for our family. We couldn’t afford paraffin daily. We would have to pay 20 shillings for each lamp. We have five lamps, so It was a lot. The paraffin also causes disease. Your eyes are sick. You can’t breathe. You start coughing. These coughs are very black. They are not good. I would take the kids to the hospital; it was very expensive. You also can’t carry these lamps. You stay in the dark. You can’t move.
With the d.light, you can move anywhere. It uses the sun. It doesn’t cost us anything. We have two d.lights in the main house, in my kitchen and my sitting room. My children can do their studies with no difficulties. Last year, my daughter was in class eight. She used this light to do her homework at night. She did very well and is now an honors student in a national school. I have another light that I can take outside to the latrine. I am able to walk now because I have this. I want more, so I can supply every room in my house with a d.light.
This new technology has been a great help around here. We are seeing big changes.
They are bringing electricity to our village, but the lights don’t always work because they require money. This kind of light is very costly. It’s 35,000 shillings ($340) to have electricity in your house and people can’t afford it. A d.light can be more useful to us with barely no cost. It can supply us with light for little money. It is affordable.
There are women in my group who cannot afford the d.light. They were in great pain and suffered a lot. They used to have to close their shops at 6 o’clock. We give them money so they can purchase one and pay us back in installments. Now they use their d.lights at night and can keep their shops open until 9. That’s three hours of extra business. They are happy. When we get even more d.lights, we will have 24 hours of light! No sleeping then!
Maria Joseph, 50, is a mother of eight who has committed nearly 20 years of helping children in need. She has been a customer of Acumen investee, d.light, for more than four years.