St. Josephine Bakhita primary school, in Kundorma village, Valunia chiefdom, Sierra Leone

In February, 2023, Solar Empowerment Initiative's generous donations of solar lamps and small torch lights were distributed through the Khalil Garnem Foundation to teachers and village elders at the St. Josephine Bakhita primary school, in Kundorma village, Valunia chiefdom, Sierra Leone which included 8 families at Helping Children Worldwide's Child Reintegration Center, women farmers in Kundorma village and Bo Town, 2 Njala University teachers/farmers and a few medical staff at the Mercy hospital in Bo, Sierra Leone. 

As you may already know, many communities in Sierra Leone do not have access to reliable electricity, or in the case of Kundorma village, no electricity. This creates a significant challenge for families, especially those who are already facing financial difficulties. Children who need to study at night, or family members who require light for household chores, are often left in the dark, making it difficult for them to perform these important tasks. Teachers who need to prepare their lessons for the next day are also affected by this lack of access to electricity. Women and young children out at night for chores or returning home, are at risk of accidents, falls, abuse or bites from snakes or street dogs. 

The donation of solar lamps has made a tremendous difference in the lives of these families and teachers. The recipients of your donation were overwhelmed with gratitude and appreciation. They were very happy to receive the solar lamps, and they felt a sense of hope and relief knowing that they could now go about their daily activities with ease. When asked, many of those who received the lamps said the lamps provide a sustainable and reliable source of light that they would use for a wide range of activities, including studying, cooking, cleaning, and going outdoors at night. They are portable, which made the beneficiaries extremely happy because they could be used in multiple locations, ideal for use in different parts of their homes, and for families who move frequently from one village to the other to sell and buy basic needs.

The teachers in Kundorma village, Valunia chiefdom were extremely grateful, for there is no source of electricity in the village and the lamps have helped them to read in the evenings, prepare their lessons more effectively, helping provide a better learning environment for their students, and also using them for personal use.

In addition to the solar lamps, we also received 2 boxes of beautiful baby clothes and some baby shoes from Tracey, Executive Director and Founder of the Oath of Giving. These clothing were distributed to expecting and new mothers at the Handmaid's Catholic Clinic and Maternity Center at Pendembu, Sierra Leone, as an incentive for them to come for clinical, prenatal and postnatal services. The incentive of gifting baby clothes helps encourage mothers to bring their babies for vaccines and health check-ups. This is a wonderful initiative that has been well received by the mothers and the community. The mothers were delighted with the baby clothes and appreciated your kindness and efforts to help them and their babies.

On behalf of the Khalil Garnem Foundation, and the communities that we serve, I wish to express my sincere thanks for your generous donations of solar lamps and baby clothes, which has brought hope and encouragement to those who received them and has made a significant impact on the communities we serve. We hope that you will continue to support us in our efforts to provide a better future for children and families in Sierra Leone.