With over 500,000 lamps sold since 2010 SunnyMoney, the social enterprise of SolarAid, is the single largest provider of solar lights in Africa. With support from GVEP, SolarAid has secured extra financing from the World Bank, to run a pilot project distributing pico-solar light products to schools in Senegal, which students can rent at a token cost.

“SunnyMoney are delighted to be working alongside GVEP on our Light Library Project in Senegal. Our partnership with GVEP brings vital experience of operating in Senegal which has supported us to begin work here and hit the ground running,” says Kat Harrison, Senegal Programme Manager, SunnyMoney.

GVEP has assisted the implementation of the project by contacting distributors, helping with geographic scoping and providing public and private sector contacts. The support GVEP gave for the geographic scoping helped in choosing the specific regions and schools to be targeted.

To date, the project has delivered solar lights (both entry level and some larger products) to 34 schools in Kaolack and 24 schools in Kaffrine. Each school received around 75 products and a total of 6,115 students have been reached this way. Students can choose between renting a small lamp for three days, for a fee of 5 CFA Francs (1 USD cent) or alternatively pay 25 CFA (5 USD cents) for one of the bigger models with phone charging capability.

Community Chiefs and Head teachers alike are said to be enthused by the increased opportunities these solar lamps will bring to younger members of the community, both in terms of improved study and health benefits. GVEP is pleased to be working closely with energy solution experts like SolarAid to help bring cleaner more affordable light to rural Africa and reduce costly kerosene dependence.

SolarAid are in the process of evaluating the success of the pilot scheme and are discussing the possibility of further projects in Senegal. See below for a video case study from the Ashden Awards Team on SolarAid's work in rural Africa.