Sarah Baird

Let There Be Light International donates solar lights to off-grid communities in Africa, combating extreme poverty and global climate change.

Energy powers everything. It enlightens our lives, keeping us safe, productive, and informed. We get up each morning interacting with electricity, unfazed by the power it wields to allow us to easily illuminate our darkened rooms, make coffee using our electric coffee pots, take hot showers, check on our kids, call our moms, use our smartphones, and more. Electricity is great – and accessible to many of us.

But 1.1 billion people in the world live without access to electricity. Instead, they have to rely on dirty, dangerous, and polluting fuels like kerosene. In Africa, there are 600 million people without safe lighting at home, in their schools, at health care centers, or along their roads. Millions of people shut down their business after dark, go to sleep in darkness, get up in darkness, and take care of loved ones in darkness, trying (like us all) to keep their families safe and healthy. All without electricity.

These communities have access to something more reliable and renewable precious than an electric grid: the sun. And although solar won’t solve all the world’s problems, it’s a powerful step towards safer, healthier, more productive lives for many.

We don’t often think much about our relationship to energy and light because it’s usually just a switch or a plug away. But our energy consumption has put our planet in danger. And many of the people suffering most from climate change are those who had the least to do with creating it. Entire regions in Africa have been impacted by drought, unpredictable growing seasons, and worsening storms.

We believe in environmental and economic justice at Let There Be Light International. We believe that we can safeguard our shared ecosystem and enlighten lives through the donation of solar lights to vulnerable, off-grid communities.

It’s true that a single solar light won’t save the world, but it’s also true that solar lights are changing thousands of lives – one person, one household, one community at a time. We know this because we have solar-electrified 19 off-grid health clinics using solar power and donated more than 6,000 solar lights to vulnerable families.

We help children continue their studies at night, giving light to their reading and learning. We’ve enabled health care centers to remain open 24 hours a day, better serving their communities and especially assisting in maternity and infant care.

At Let There Be Light International, we’re committed to transforming the lives of vulnerable families and communities through solar power. We invite you to become a part of our efforts to help others shine on.

Further resources

Let There Be Light International (LTBLI) works with local NGOs to raise awareness about the benefits of distributed renewables in off-grid communities in sub-Saharan Africa. We partner with existing social service delivery organizations, bringing safe, clean, renewable light to marginalized off-grid communities living in extreme poverty. We hold free educational and outreach sessions to educate communities about renewable energy and track awareness levels about solar.

LTBLI replaces dirty, dangerous and expensive kerosene lights with donated solar lights in off-grid, impoverished households who have family members in one or more of our M.O.D.E.S. (Mothers, Orphans, Persons living with Disabilities, Elders, Students). We have enlightened 6,115 households in the past 3.5 years. We also have solar-electrified 19 off-grid health clinics, impacting the health, safety and environmental outcomes of more than 300,000 people.

Let There Be Light International primarily works in Uganda and Malawi with consulting projects in Rwanda and Tanzania.

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