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VELUX employees bring Natural Light to Africa

Illuminating Tanzanian and Kenyan communities with solar lamps

Three VELUX employees helped solve the problem of living and learning in the dark by providing sustainable and durable light sources to children in two African communities where electricity is scarce.

Stable source of light in Sikonge, Tanzania
Matthias Solsø Dommert and his wife travelled at the end of last year to Sikonge, a small remote village located in an off-grid area of rural Tanzania. They were greeted by 13 students from a local school, an important hub for community development, where they handed out solar lamps as part of the Velux Natural Light project.

The village has limited access to electricity and during his stay Matthias experienced multiple power outages. The Natural Light lamps help address the general lack of power and provide students with a stable and lasting light source to enhance their learning.

“I explained about VELUX and our aim to bring light to life,” said Matthias, who speaks Swahili after living in Tanzania for five years where he was involved in several local development projects.

“The students were impressed by how a company with no business interest in Africa cares so much about them.”

Solution to dark hours in Kizingo, Kenya
Two other VELUX employees, Marianne Møldrup and Teena Stougaard, also travelled to the region early this year
to give a pre-school in the village of Kizingo in southern Kenya 30 Natural Light solar lamps.

Built in 2015, the school has 52 students aged three to six years. It is poorly equipped and often lacks electricity. Paraffin and kerosene lamps were used to provide light instead, thereby creating a toxic learning environment.

It’s unfortunately a common practice in off-grid African regions and not only are there associated health issues but the lamps are also fire hazards.


“As the children are not used to electricity, they were surprised about the function of the lamps, and we hope they will enjoy using them during the hours of darkness" explained Marianne and Teena.

“It was a great experience for us to have the opportunity to please the children."

Natural Light project
VELUX Group launched the Natural Light project in 2014 with the purpose of donating sustainable light sources to help off-grid communities in sub-Saharan Africa and to create a business model for local sale agents. The Natural Light project has so far provided more than 35,000 solar-powered lamps to communities in greatest need in Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Sierra Leone.

1.2 billion people live without access to electricity. At VELUX it is our mission to make a change through our Natural Light project, and we are proud that our colleagues take part in this process.

Carina Skovmøller, Head of CSR & Sustainability

Other VELUX initiatives in the Natural Light project include:

  • The donation of 2,400 solar lamps during the European Handball Federation finals 2016 sponsored by VELUX
  • 1,000 solar lamps and €10,000 donated by VELUX-France to projects in Zambia
  • 4,000 solar lamps purchased by different local VELUX companies

You have the chance to get your own Natural Light Lamp and donate one free of charge!

For each lamp sold, VELUX will donate one to the Natural Light project. You can buy a solar lamp
here.

Did you know…?

The Natural Light project is now independent from VELUX and has become a development project in cooperation with NGO Plan International.

Plan Iternational created distribution channels and trained sales agents, who are now able to make a living for their families by selling the lamps in off-grid areas.

Since then, more than 35.000 lamps have been sold and distributed in Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Sierra Leone, bringing the advantages of sustainable and safe lamps.

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