Ideas Competition: Creating Change Through Cleantech During GEW
Nov 10, 2010
MwangaBora, Swahili for "good light", have been the recent words echoing through Nairobi, Kenya. Evans Wadongo, a 23 year-old native of rural Kenya, has now dedicated his entire life to producing, distributing, and changing lives with his creation - MwangaBora, a solar-powered LED lantern. The current way of life for rural families, buying and using kerosene to power fires to read, cook, and live is no longer the only choice. Wadongo is providing a new way of living, away from a smoke filled home and expensive kerosene costs, entirely for free.
Wadongo says he hopes his invention will ultimately improve education, reduce poverty and hunger - what an accomplishment this humble idea turned into. From his college project working with LED christmas lights to a broken-off piece of solar panel found in the streets - he realized his idea could become a reality. Wadongo started "Use Solar, Save Lives" as a grassroots project with artisans helping him design the lanterns, family and friends helping with micro-loans.
Wadongo is now supported by a non-profit called Sustainable Kenya, bringing volunteers to assemble and deliver the lights to families while funding the supplies to reduce the cost of each lantern. Wadonogo and others visionaries like him started with an idea, his was to save lives and keep Kenyan children from suffering as he did.
These ideas can thrive with support and recognition from the world. Wadongo is now a finalist in the 2010 Ideas Competition held in partnership by Global Entrepreneurship Week, The Cleantech Open, and The Kauffman Foundation. See other ideas that will change the world at the 2010 Cleantech Open Awards Gala in San Jose, California on November 17th. More information can be found at www.cleantechopengala.com