SolarAid’s Project Switch, raises £50k to enable households in Malawi switch from darkness to light

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SolarAid’s latest innovation, Project Switch, has raised £50k to enable the people of Mandevu village in Malawi switch from darkness to light in a move aimed at helping alleviate poverty in a country where millions don’t have access to electricity where sunrise means end of business. 

With the crowdfunding donations, Project Switch will work with the community to install cables, switches and light bulbs in households throughout Mandevu village for free.

According to John Keane, SolarAid CEO, “This solution will be life changing. It will light up homes, enabling children to play and study safely. No more burns, or even worse, accidents from using candles.  No one in the village will need to buy candles or paraffin anymore, helping them save money and escape from poverty.”

“The idea of Project Switch was born out of our frustration that we are not reaching the poorest people quickly enough and millions will remain in the dark. Once we can show the new model can work, we believe it can be replicated across Malawi and elsewhere in Africa,” he added.

Founded in 2006, SolarAid is an international charity set to combat poverty and climate change. It provides access to solar lights in Uganda, Malawi and Zambia to help catalyse solar markets and eradicate the kerosene lamp.

It’s Project Switch will enable the villagers charge their batteries as often as they like and give them access to clean and safe power and lighting in their homes. The users will agree on an affordable fee for their own household to rent a solar charged battery which is way cheaper than  candles or batteries. Users simply connect the solar charged battery to their houses and can go recharge them at a solar powered charging station Solar Aid will install in the village.  The monthly fee from each household pays for someone to look after and run the charging station and helps creates a sustainable solution that doesn’t depend on aid.