Just One Lamp seeks out communities in Kenya that are below the poverty line and have limited access to electricity. Most people in these villages rely on kerosene lanterns, which are both expensive and dangerous, as their only source of lighting. When solar lanterns are used in place of kerosene, families are safer and are able to save money that can be used towards other necessities. The process is done in five simple steps.
1. Your Support - After Just One Lamp identifies a village in need, they determine how many lamps are needed initially. The first sets of lanterns are given for free to the women’s groups in the village. In order to start this chain of events, donations are necessary to fund the initial lamps.
2.Get Materials and Design Locally - We tailor the design of the lanterns to mirror the lanterns used in each village so that the users are familiar with them and more likely to use them. The materials for the lanterns are sourced locally which ensures that income stays in the community.
3. Train the Youth in Manufacturing – We create resource centers where the youth are trained in the manufacturing of the lanterns, giving them a tangible skill. Once we’ve left the community to manage their economic venture, it is these youth that are able to make any necessary repairs, which is something that can provide them income and keeps the community sustained.
4. Facilitate Group Savings - In order to ensure the best chance of success, we look to women’s groups that already exist within the village fabric. The women are familiar with each other and trust each other, a key element to the model’s success. The women pool their savings together and it grows as a group.
5. Use Savings to Create Economic Ventures - Afterwards, Just One Lamp helps guide the people in using the funds to create an economic venture that the group decides on. Past projects have included bee hives, fish farms, and vegetable gardens. The money raised is then used to either create more lamps, buy more food, or create more jobs to further economic development.