CARE Hack: Solar Lamps

CARE Hack: Solar Lamps

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Solar lamps are a simple, fundamental intervention that can improve the lives of the rural poor in Rwanda.

Having no electricity, families traditionally rely on kerosene or battery power to light their homes at night.

These energy sources are not only expensive – even unaffordable to families living on less than $2.50 a day – but also present environmental, health and safety concerns.

Supported by the Marshall-Reynolds Foundation, CARE’s Clean Lighting Initiative introduced solar lamps as a potential market-based solution for communities within six districts of Rwanda’s Eastern province.

CARE partnered with solar lamp distributor Digitech Solutions, selected and trained a network of 90 village agents – trustworthy Village Savings and Loan Association or community leaders – to sell the product and implemented a solar lamp business strategy based off of the lamps’ environmental, health, cost and safety merits.


Support from the Marshall-Reynolds Foundation allowed CARE to pilot a solar lamp initiative in rural communities in Rwanda that do not currently have any electrical connection.