03/31/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Help Light Haiti

Something we often take for granted -- lighting - is essential for safety and security, self-empowerment and self-sufficiency. Even before the earthquake, 85% of Haitians did not have electricity. Now the situation is even worse. You can help. For $10, you can empower a group of 10 people in Haiti for 10 years by providing a solar-powered light.

SunNight Solar has been providing solar-powered flashlights to the people of Haiti for over 4 years. There are reports that the lights already in Haiti at the time of the earthquake, and the 150 delivered by former President Clinton, are allowing neighbors to help each other in the aftermath. There is story after story of these lights being used to save lives.

Through its BoGo Lights ("Buy one, Give one") program, SunNight Solar donates solar-powered flashlights to schools and hospitals and homes throughout the world where electricity is unreliable. It also provides lights to women in refugee camps, because reliable light is essential for the safety and security of women and children who otherwise might be attacked at night.

BoGo Lights are being used in the Fugnido Refugee Camp in Sudan, in four United Nations' relief settlements in Uganda, in the fishing communities of the Kutch coast of India, in the Kenyan village of Suari, and in Tongan villages that were devastated by a recent tsunami. They are providing light for a midwifery program in Afghanistan. Studies show that one light can impact and improve the lives of ten people.

Supporting "Light Haiti" is another way that you can help Haiti recover. This is more than emergency aid -- this is long-term aid. These solar lights are designed to last for at least 20 years, and their rechargeable AA batteries only need to be replaced every 2-3 years. This is a far cheaper and "greener" alternative than expensive kerosene lamps and conventional flashlights with single-use batteries. It is appropriate technological aid that allows women and their families to travel safely, children to study, farmers to repair their equipment, and artisans to make handicrafts. These lights even make it possible for surgeries to be performed and babies to be delivered safely.

I've been giving BoGo Lights to friends and family for years, and I use one myself. Now, through the Light Haiti program, you, too, can make a difference for the people of Haiti.

Check out the Light Haiti project at or at

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