Imagine living without light after duskIn Cambodia, less than 50% of the population have access to electricity, and many who do have access cannot afford to use it. Even close to the major cities, satellite communities do not have the infrastructure in place to access electricity. The community of Sra Srong, consisting of 5 villages just out of Siem Reap and within a few kilometres of the Angkor Wat Temple, is one such community.
What is happening now?Once the sun goes down, most families in the community have no access to lights. Some homes use dangerous and expensive kerosene lanterns, or car battery systems for basic power. The ongoing costs of these are prohibitive however, and the safety risk for children with open flames offering poor illumination is high.
Having no light after dark is incredibly restrictive on a number of levels, resulting in economic, educational and social limitations. Women in the community who make income from basket weaving are unable to work after dark. Schoolchildren, who often also have work commitments to support the family during the daylight, are unable to study after dark. Families are not able to look after elderly relatives or young babies easily during the night hours. Community activities are not able to continue once night falls.
These factors all contribute to the cycle of poverty that binds this community. Bringing renewable light into the community would open up opportunities for members of the community to work towards a more prosperous and fulfilling life.
Here's what we're doing about itBuilding Brighter Futures Foundation is working with the Sra Srong community to improve opportunities. We already have a Basket Weaving Cooperative project in place to help the women of the village to improve their weaving skills, negotiate as a collective for better pricing and find new and larger markets.
With this campaign, we will light the community! Through association with Nokero, who produce solar powered light globes, we will provide lighting to families who have none currently. Raising funds for 150 light globes will allow each household to have one light source. While it sounds small, this will produce an incredible change across the community, and open up new possibilities for every family.
How do we know that this will help?
Recently, BBFF completed a pilot project, providing solar light globes to 26 homes in two villages within the Sra Srong community. The feedback from this initiative has been overwhelming, with families reporting that they have seen improvements in all areas - economic, educational and social. BBFF are excited at the potential for change within the community when light is provided across all villages.