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Lights for Students in Rural Africa

Item # 35641

What a bright idea! Give the light of knowledge to students in refugee camps.

How many times have you turned on the light at night? Whether it's studying for a big test, or "merely" reading for pleasure, the chance to read whenever we want is something most of us take for granted. But for people living off the electrical grid, when the sun goes down, so does their chance to read and learn.

For more than ten years, tens of thousands of people have been living in refugee camps in Rwanda, waiting for conditions in their native countries to become safe enough to finally return home. These refugees have fled war and famine just to survive.

Despite massive funding cuts for the camps and UNHCR's (UN High Commission for Refugees) hope that the refugees will voluntarily return to Congo soon, stability doesn't look promising across the border. And so the refugees wait in the camps, unable to settle in Rwanda, and yet unable to return home. This has been the situation for over a decade. For thousands of children in the camps, it is the only life they have ever known.

When darkness falls in a place like this, it is almost complete. The few sources of light might include smoldering, smoky cooking fires, or the rare kerosene lamp, which burns expensive fuel. These current lighting sources cause severe respiratory illness; the World Bank estimates that breathing kerosene fumes is the equivalent of smoking two packs of cigarettes each day.

The gift of light, in both the classrooms and makeshift homes in refugee camps, would make all the difference in the world for students who are studying to pass the national exam and test into college. For these students, the national exam is their only opportunity to escape the camps.

The nonprofit Lights for Life is distributing small, clean, rechargeable LED lights to students in these camps. Each LED provides 37 hours of light after just 20 minutes of charging. Up to 5 lights can be recharged at the same time with a pedal generator.

This Gift That Gives More™ funds two rechargeable lights for students in the refugee camps in Rwanda, helping improve their ability to further their education.


Lights for Life International works to increase the opportunities available to children who are lighting-impoverished by providing them with LED lighting so they can study after dark. Lights for Life also works to reduce total global carbon dioxide emissions by discouraging the use of kerosene for lighting.


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