Nearly 7 million people have fled their homes to escape the violence in Syria, and 2 million refugees in Jordan and Lebanon face a wet, cold winter with nothing – not even a safe lamp to light their way. Which is why WakaWaka launched the Solar for Syria campaign.
A startup working in collaboration with Solease, WakaWaka launched Solar for Syria in order to distribute solar-powered lighting and energy to thousands of Syrian refugees who have nothing but the clothes they carried with them as they fled their homes.
Shelter for some is as luxurious as a tent, though IKEA flatpack homes approved by Lebanon may help others down the line (read here), while many refugees, particularly those who aren’t in camps, make do with little more than tarps to keep out the winter’s biting cold.
Aid organizations distribute kits and food and good hearted initiatives such as those launched by Green Prophet’s Laurie Balbo help to provide basic necessities such as hats, but the truth is – they’re losing the battle. Every day, 6,000 more Syrians leave their home, and there is just never enough money to care for everyone.
Lack of lighting and electricity are two major issues for refugees, particularly for women and children who are vulnerable to attacks. Kerosene lamps provide some relief, but they’re costly to fuel, highly flammable, and therefore dangerous, and they emit toxic fumes.
WakaWaka solar lamps are said to be among the world’s most efficient. The lamp runs 80 hours after a full day of sunlight, while the compact, portable power chargers capable of recharging phones, tablets and small electronics has an LED torch that will run for 20 hours when used at full brightness.
To date, WakaWaka has distributed 25,000 devices to refugees, and each one can sustain up to five people. Solease is distributing an additional 50, and the Solar for Syria campaign allows every day people like you and me to purchase either a lamp, charger, or an entire kit, and have one donated in return.
During the Christian holidays, many people go out and buy a bunch of gifts for their friends and family – many of which are simply unnecessary. This year, why not give a gift that will literally change a life. One WakaWaka light costs $35. The chargers and kit are a little more.
Check out Solar for Syria if you want to give the gift of a lifetime, and happy holidays from all of us at Green Prophet.