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Abjata Khalif (right) presents an Afri solar powered lamp to a Hasna Muktar, a midwife, in Sankuri, Garissa, Kenya.
Many gifts will be given during this Christmas season: most appreciated, some not needed, and some even unwanted. But some gifts are not only wanted but badly needed and are, sometimes, a matter of life and death.
There’s one unique gift you could give this year that will bring light, literally, to new-born babies in Northern Kenya, and the midwives who deliver them. This gift of solar light will also enable school-going children to study at night, in a country where education is so vital to both children and their parents.
These simple but extraordinary solar lamps utterly transform people’s lives. They’re purchased in Kenya by Afri’s partner, the Kenya Pastoralist Journalist Network, and distributed to communities in Northern Kenya, where the sunlight needed to power them is guaranteed, every day.
Hasna Muktar, a local midwife says that her solar lamp has made her deliveries less complicated. “I charge the lamp during the day and start using it at night. I have used the solar lamp given to me to attend to 185 births in Sankuri village. In the past we used to worry about the cost of the kerosene and the damage caused to small babies’ lungs by its fumes, but now clean and safe light is available all the time.”
Hasna, who provides education and training for expectant mothers and mothers with newborn babies, also says that before having the solar light midwives had to contend with snakes – she herself has been bitten three times – or being attacked by hyenas when going to deliver babies in the night-time.
Abjata Khalif, founder and Director of the Kenya Pastoralist Journalist Network, adds that the solar lamps used by children to study after daylight hours have generated a noticeable improvement in their learning. In addition, families benefit from the lamps by allowing parents to carry out necessary work after dark.
Let us continue to let the light shine for our friends in Northern Kenya, who face so many challenges with such courage and determination.
A portion of the money generated will be used to support Afri’s work in tackling climate change, which is one of the greatest threats to the people of Northern Kenya as in many other parts of the global South.