Evans Wadongo is a 24 year old graduate in Electronic and Computer Engineering from Kenya. Wadongo, is giving his country's rural families a way to replace the smoky kerosene and firelight with solar power - and he's providing it for free. He designed a solar lamp which he calls ‘MwangaBora (Swahili for good light), as a way to address poor education, climate change, health and poverty in rural areas in Kenya. He later joined a non-profit organization, Sustainable Development For All-Kenya (SDFA-Kenya), at its formative stages.
When the group heard about his MwangaBora, it immediately committed to help, eventually bringing Wadongo on as a partner and chairman of the board. The group has helped reduce production costs to $20 per lantern (costs are covered by donations). Volunteers help build the lanterns and work with local government and women's groups to determine the communities most in need. A small percentage of the cost of each lamp goes toward the volunteers. The group buys excess pieces of solar paneling, cut from commercially sold panels, in bulk and in an outdoor metal shop, Wadongo and volunteers hammer scrap metal for the frame of the lantern. Wadongo estimates he's distributed around 10,000 lanterns.
Wadongo was the only African nomianted for CNN Heroes in 2010. If you want to see more African’s nominated for 2011, get voting http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/03/25/cnnheroes.how.to.nominate/index.html the winner recives 25k for their cause.Want to get involved? Check out the Use Solar, Save Lives web site and see how to help.