Less than 20 percent of people living in rural Tanzania have access to electricity. Expanding the electrical grid to remote rural areas would require significant funding, which would conflict with other much-needed services such as education, health, and road infrastructure. While it’s recognized that access to electricity is a major barrier to economic expansion, there are currently no plans to increase the electrical grid.
Families at our sites use candles and kerosene lamps for light and wood stoves for cooking. These families are often poor, so these costly light sources are used sparingly so homework and any other tasks not finished before sundown are left undone. Thanks to generous donations to our gift catalogue, families from our Neema site were thrilled to be given the gift of solar lights, which in essence, is a gift of extra time as they can do more after dark than they could before!
Children usually wake before sunrise to fetch water before walking up to an hour to school. After school, they must walk home and complete their household chores before they have time to study. But by the time their chores are done, it is nearly sunset, which means they have no time to study. “They received these gifts with hearts filled with joy,” writes the site in a recent report. “These solar lights give light in their houses at night so the children can study their lessons.” Both children and their parents are so thankful for this gift that adds so much value in their lives.