PM We Care

Image Copyright: World Vision

The dark season is approaching, no doubt about it. The days are getting shorter and each week, we need to turn on the lights a little earlier. Let’s be honest: For most of us, electrical light is simply a matter of flipping a switch. We don’t even think about it twice. In other parts of the world, electricity is anything but granted. The hours where you can work, study, or simply spend time with your loved ones are determined by sunrise and sunset.

Let’s take a look at Bundi in the Western part of India, where 800 of PM-International’s sponsored children live. For several years, we have been supporting regional development projects in this area together with our longstanding partner World Vision. This year, we even started sponsoring a whole AP (Area Program).

No Light after Dark

Even today, many local villages are not connected to the electricity grid. After dark, women were reluctant to leave their homes, as they did not feel safe in the streets. The lack of light and a regular electric supply affects family life and, above all, the children’s education. Without electrical light, it is impossible for them to read in the evening and do their homework. The consequences are poor grades or even dropping out of school. But without education, children have no chance of escaping poverty. To see something in the evening, many households still use kerosene lamps. However, these lamps have a high and expensive fuel consumption, cause eye and lung pain and ignite so easily that there is a risk that the whole house burns down.

In India, ‘Sangeet’ is a popular custom where community women gather together to celebrate occasions like weddings or childbirth. Due to work and childcare, evenings are usually the only time when they can all meet together. Solar lights empower local women to socialize with the whole female community. Copyright: World Vision.

The Solution: Solar Lamps

World Vision has found a very simple, sustainable solution to this problem – solar lamps. Once fully charged, they burn for four hours, are easy and safe to operate, and do not incur any additional costs. Thanks to their light, children can study after dark. They also help them to move around outside the house warding off wild animals or preventing them from accidents. In addition, the lamps contribute to social life within the family. It’s proven that the whole family spends more time together when it’s bright in the evening. Installing solar panels on houses also helps reduce collective dependence on fossil fuel, as solar power systems derive clean, pure energy from the sun.

Through a special donation, and thanks to all your generous support, we could help World Vision set up a total of 40 solar lamps for private households and three solar streetlights in the region. When visiting Bundi in 2016, PM Charity Ambassador Vicki Sorg could experience the change firsthand: “I could really feel the difference these lamps make for the local families. Finally, the children can learn even after sunset and the women dare to take the streets again without fear,” Vicki sums up her impressions.

PM Charity Ambassador Vicki Sorg during her visit of sponsored children in the Bundi region in 2016.

Lighting the Way To a Brighter Future

Providing solar lights empowers children and families, both socially and economically. Following the initiative of World Vision, the local government has also decided to connect the village to the electricity grid in the future. Now, nothing can stop the children from studying!

Do you want to know more about PM We Care? Read more stories from the AP Bundi and our sponsored children around the world here!

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