In February 2019, FINCA International’s BrightLife program launched its first Solar Lamp Library. With support from FINCA donors, the project gave up to 100 solar lamps to select schools in Uganda with little or no access to electricity. Through these Lamp Libraries, students and other members of the community can “check out” the solar lights the same way books are in a traditional library—taking them home for use and bringing them back the following day to recharge.
Since the project’s initiation, BrightLife has given nearly 3,000 students and over 4,000 members of the surrounding communities access to solar lighting. And in December 2020, BrightLife opened three new lamp libraries to help even more students gain access to light.
See below for a unique photo essay telling the story of a new solar lamp library.
Installing a New Solar Lamp Library
A lot of work goes into setting up a solar lamp library. A whole BrightLife team comes to install the solar panels, set up the charging stations for the lamps.
Above, BrightLife’s Chief Operating Officer Nelson Mugisha stands in front of a few of the BrightLife team that came to help set up and intall the lamp library.
Introducing the Solar Lamps
After installing and setting up the lamp library, the BrightLife team then introduces the students to the lamps.
Above, Nelson introduces the lamps, explaining how each lamp works, as well as the concept of the library.
Faculty and staff also have a chance to use the solar lamps and talk to the students about their use.
And finally, the students have the chance to come up and try out the lights as well.
The Students’ Reactions
All of the students were extremely happy to have received a new Solar Lamp Library…
…and have their photos taken with the life-changing lights.
And access to these lights is especially life-changing for young girls, who are more likely than boys to fall behind in or drop out of school completely.
The BrightLife Solar Lamp Library in Action
After all of the installation, setup and instruction, students were immediately able to start taking home the lamps to use that evening, and every evening after.