Evan Wadongo Introducing the Solar Powered Lantern

In Kenya money is hard to come by. Kerosene and firewood are the main sources for lighting but the costs are sometimes greater than the average family can afford. The average family lives on less than $1 a day but the costs of kerosene are about $100 a year. With this said, many families are unable to do anything constructive after dark; this includes children not being able to do their homework, which can then lead to a potentially unsuccessful future.

Evan Wadongo, a native from Kenya, was personally affected by the lack of lighting in his village growing up. He was forced to stop doing homework after dark because he couldn’t see and his family couldn’t afford to use the kerosene for that purpose. In result, Evan said he rarely finished his homework and received poor exam grades. He knew that these conditions would only damper his future so he decided to do something.

Attending a Kenyan University, Evan discovered solar power. From here he began to experiment with creating his own solar-powered LED lantern that would allow his village to access light after dark cost free as well as better their futures.

At the young age of 23, Evan Wandongo was named a CNN Hero for creating and bringing solar-powered light to Kenya. His plans are to continue spreading his lanterns to other rural areas that are unable to function after dark and allow these people to spend their money on food rather than the high costs of kerosene. Bringing these solar powered lanterns to areas that need it, he hopes to directly improve education, reduce poverty and hunger.

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