SunNight Solar, a Texas-based firm, is partnering with the Clinton Global Initiative to launch the Light Haiti Initiative. The Initiative will provide over 500,000 solar powered flashlights to the people of Haiti utilizing innovative, environmentally friendly new technologies.
For most of us, lighting our homes is as simple as flipping a switch, yet for one third of the planet, lighting is an expensive luxury. Providing basic lighting can help address issues as critical as literacy by providing children a place to read at night or help protect against sexual violence in places like refugee camps. In the western hemisphere, Haiti is particularly impacted, with over 85% of the population off the electrical grid.
The Light Haiti Initiative will provide two types of portable solar lights, one will be a school and clinic light, designed with a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to illuminate a room. The second light will be a family light that will illuminate a table or other area to western standards. Both lights use the same technologies, photovoltaic or solar panels, LEDs -- light emitting diodes and rechargeable NiMH AA batteries. NiMH are the most environmentally sensitive batteries available. The lights will provide light each night for up to six hours, charge fully in one day and the batteries can last for up to two years - and are easily replaceable.
Non-profits who receive the lights will also be required to make a contribution to their communities in some way such as tree planting or tutoring. Groups such as Partners in Health, Yele Haiti and Melimnum Relief and Development Services are joining with SunNight Solar in this effort.