Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Solar-Lit Camp Benefits Refugees

Branch Foundation Photo
'The world's first solar-lit refugee camp’ in Thailand for Burmese refugees has met its main objectives, according to Global Giving:
…to reduce fire risks in the thatched houses, allow the children to study after dark and to save the household's money. Camp residents previously spent high amounts on expensive candles and kerosene lamps. Here is a summary of what the residents had to say and the benefits of the project within the refugee camp:
87 adults and 59 children directly benefitted from the solar lighting, totaling 146 people
Every resident said that they now don't have to worry about fire in their houses
All households with children said that the solar lighting had a positive effect on their children's education
Residents saved an average of 205 Thai Baht ($7 USD) per month by not having to buy candles etc.
Given a project success rating between 1 to 5, the households rated the project at an average of 4.6
The solar lights provided an average of 3.5 hours of lighting per night through all seasons of the year
Not only did the project achieve the objectives we set but it also allowed some residents to carry out other activities with the improved lighting such as weaving, embroidery and making thatched roofs at night. Many residents also mentioned an improvement in their health due to not having to breathe in the smoke from the kerosene lamps/candles.
Here are some quotes from the residents themselves:
Loung Kaw La (46 years old) - "I can see that my son's English is getting better as he reads out loud at night."
Nong Kam Kham (30 years old) - "I am very happy to be using solar lighting as my little girl was previously badly burnt from a candle and still carries scars. Thank you very much to The Branch Foundation and it's supporters. I can now save money and use it for different purposes. I have safer light for my children so I wish you a brighter life!"

Mae Tao Yen (75 years old) - "I have less headaches and bad smells in my house due to not having to use kerosene lamps."



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