On the way in to work last week, I heard a piece on the radio about the high cost of electricity in Jamaica, and the difficulty this causes for the island’s poor (and even the not so poor). As I listened I couldn’t help but think of how much I love and rely upon TV, my cell phone, our microwave, refrigerator, toaster and perhaps above all, our sweet, sweet air conditioning. It’s amazing (and a bit frightening) to think of how our whole system, our whole way of life, is so utterly dependent on electricity.
This need for electricity is a real problem; not just in Jamaica, but throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. A lack of electricity is not just an inconvenience. It can also mean a lack of safety, a hindrance to education, a health hazard, an inability to respond to a crisis in a timely manner, and a roadblock to progress.
I’ll never forget the first night I ever spent in Haiti back in 2006. As the sun went down, there was this unbelievable darkness that enveloped the entire rural area where we were staying. While just a few people in this town of thousands had electricity (provided by generators), everyone else lit candles or just called it a day when darkness fell. Walking around at night, it might as well have been the year 1806. Trying to sleep on a 90 degree night in August without A/C in a stifling, mosquito-infested room presented a whole other set of issues.
Food For The Poor is working to address this lack of electricity and the accompanying issues that arise from this need by providing solar lighting systems. These life-changing pieces of technology have three bulbs with on/off switches and an adapter so people can charge things like cell phones. For just $125, you can purchase one of these beauties for a family in need. We have been trying to provide these systems for new homes we build for families in areas where electricity may be hard to come by, but we need your help to do so.
Before writing this post, our Projects Manager for Jamaica made a point to tell me how incredibly grateful poor families are for the provision of solar powered electricity. Something we take so much for granted really does mean so much to a family who has never enjoyed this simple yet profound blessing. Let’s keep working together to make this dream come true!
Click here to provide a solar light system for a family in need.
To learn more about Jamaica’s electricity situation, read this story.