Approximately one year after roof window manufacturer VELUX partnered with social business Little Sun and NGO Plan International to bring sustainable light to Africa, the first solar lamps have now arrived on African soil.
The VELUX group has so far produced and donated 14,5000 of the solar-powered lamps after it launched the Natural Light International Design Competition last year.
The company is now training 150 local sales agents in Senegal, Zimbabwe and Zambia in how to sell the lamps in off-grid communities; combining workshops, roleplay, demonstrations and group work.
Edius N. Makono of the Alight Zimbabwe Trust commented: “The first business training was very successful. It was well-attended and the future sales agents had a high interest in the product, convinced that the lamps would sell well. The agents were able to see that the Natural Light lamp can save their customers money.
After two months of use, customers already save money compared to what they would spend on kerosene lamps. Having solar lamps means being independent from the electrical grid.”
At the time of writing, 1.2 billion people worldwide are without access to electricity, and reliable, sustainable light is often in short supply.
The counteract this growing issue, VELUX began its campaign with Little Sun and Plan International using an entrepreneurial distribution model donating an initial batch of 14,500 solar lamps.
The lamps will be sold at locally affordable prices in communities at the without electricity at the beginning of this year in Senegal, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
The solar lamps were designed by Mariana Arando and Luca Fondello, winners of the Natural Light International design competition which attracted 172 proposals from 65 countries.
The design concept was inspired by how natural light can bring people together. The design makes it possible to connect several lamps to each other, so that everyone can bring their lamp to a social gathering and create light together.
Mason Huffine, Sales Manager for Little Sun in Africa, commented: “It’s been very rewarding working with partners like VELUX and Plan, who share our common goal of bringing clean, renewable light to people across Africa.”
Velux Co Ltd
Phone: 01592 778927
Fax: 01592 771839