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Let There Be Light International hosted a Solar Celebration at Silo City to raise awareness about energy poverty and to celebrate their solar programming in Africa. Supporters and volunteers enjoyed a beautiful evening of music, dance, photography, food, and tours of the silos.

Donors and Sponsors raised enough money to solar-electrify 2 off-grid health clinics in Uganda and to donate 250 safe solar lights to vulnerable households, enlightening the lives of 35,000 people!

Executive Director, Sarah Baird, spoke about Energy Poverty and the need for sustainable interventions in vulnerable off-grid communities.

“We’re here to celebrate Let There Be Light International and our Solar Programming in off-grid Africa. Let There Be Light International’s mission is to alleviate Energy Poverty and to fight Climate Change through the solar-electrification of prioritized rural health centers and the distribution of safe solar lights to at-risk people in Africa who are unable due to age, disability, and/or geography to participate in market-based solutions. To-date we have solar-electrified 21 health clinics and donated safe solar lights to 7,075 households. The solar beneficiaries are families living in remote areas who live on less than $1 per person per day, many of whom are disabled, HIV positive, single mothers, and orphans. Getting safe, renewable lights into homes is an incredibly important issue because energy poverty – or the state of living without access to energy – impacts the health, safety, wellbeing, educational outcomes and economic stability of entire communities, countries and indeed our shared world.”

Baird introduced the event’s keynote speaker, Rubens Mukunzi, the Publisher and Editor of Karibu News, a newspaper catering to the refugee and immigrant communities. Mukunzi, who grew up in Rwanda, experienced first-hand the challenges and dangers of energy poverty whenever he visited his grandmother who used a traditional open-flamed kerosene wick candle. Mukunzi, a tireless advocate for refugees and sustainable interventions to improve the lives of others, explained why this project is important and invited the Solar Celebration attendees to support further programming.

A photography exhibition by Esther MbabaziLife Off-Grid in Uganda, highlighted the Solar Celebration   Louise Sano of Global Villages catered the event and Ismail & Co. provided the African drumming and a wonderful vibe. Children joined adults to dance under the majesty of Buffalo’s industrial past and grooved together with a stunning group of traditional dancers from Burundi led by Zena Ntibaira, Aline Mugenzi, and Immaculee Ndayisaba.

Let There Be Light International thanks the generosity of our sponsors and attendees! Baird noted that the Solar Celebration at Silo City was a resounding success in large part thanks to Let There Be Light International’s volunteer, Jamie Perry, and Emily Louis’ pro-bono event planning expertise through her business, Live Inspired Events.