Power One for One in cooperation with our partner organisation Kopernik gave solar lights to three elementary schools on Sumba island.

Background

Indonesia—a country consisting of more than 17.500 unique islands with spectacular landscapes and a highly diverse environment. An example of this is Sumba island, a place where culture and tradition are deeply embedded in the populations’ daily life.

However, most of its beauty vanishes into darkness once the sun goes down. While we experience a stunning sea of lights, 41% of Sumba has no access to electricity, meaning no light after nightfall. Despite the current efforts particularly the area in the Southwest Sumba remains dark.

Students at Rita elementary school

Students at Rita elementary school

Power One for One gave solar lights to the powerless and for this purpose we partnered with Kopernik, an established NGO with expertise in relief efforts in Indonesia. As a pilot project we distributed 150 solar lights to three elementary schools in the region of South Wewewa in August 2017. The Wee Tobo, Puu Kapaka and Rita elementary schools were chosen in collaboration with the local government based on the low average power supply in the area, where 57% of the villages have no access to electricity. This area belongs to the provinces which rank lowest of all Indonesian provinces in terms of gross regional product nominal (GRP Nominal) per capita. This means that approximately 22% and 16% of the people live under the government set poverty line (USD 24 and 25 per capita per month).

Students at Puu Kapaka elementary school with their solar lamps

Students at Puu Kapaka elementary school with their solar lamps

A study by Kopernik on the students’ sources of light & activities after dark revealed that 94% have no access to electricity in their houses and use alternative lightning options such as kerosene lamps or candles. In combination with the sources of light, the research outcomes showed that the school children’s main activities after dark include studying (89%), helping their parents (79%), and playing (30%). Being able to carry out these activities with light results in various effects which in combination, significantly increase people’s quality of life. Next to bringing light to people particularly for education, it was important to Power One for One to distribute a product, which is customised to the needs of the population.

Students at Wee Tombo elementary school

This is a start, but more must be done to efficiently support the population on Sumba island and to give them a voice in the fight against energy poverty.

Students with solar lamps at Rita elementary school

Students with solar lamps at Rita elementary school