In the English language, light is an overused metaphor, in hit songs like ‘You Light Up My Life’, in movies – Luke Skywalker is affiliated with the light side of the force (at least initially), and in common phrases – ‘his eyes lit up.’
Physiologically, exposure to light improves one’s mood - and lack of can be associated with the winter blues. Light is so crucial to education that "enlighten" means to inform, instruct, or educate.
Bringing solar power to Batwa families will allow children to complete homework and improve their chances of escaping poverty. Education is so crucial to every aspect of how we form as humans, in escaping difficult circumstances, in growing as human beings, in bettering the human condition through self-education or educating others.
In Uganda, English is the national language, though individuals who drop out of school often do not learn enough to get good jobs. If they stay in school and learn it, their opportunities expand. When kids learn to read, they open the world of learning to themselves, even if they drop out of school. If they learn how to count money, they can make sure when they spend money, they get the right change, or they can negotiate for the right price to rent their land for farming. The more years of education a child gets, the greater their chance of economic success and the greater their chance they can support a family and themselves.
Solar power is not directly tied to education in Kalehe village. We still have our school, and the kids will come whether their parents get it or not. But it will enable them to study at home, and it also creates an even deeper trust between RSF and the Batwa - and shows the parents we also care about them. Can you imagine not having any light at night in a small mud home, when the skies grow dark at 6pm year-round, and you can scarcely find anything?
We believe the Batwa deserve happiness, nice homes, and long, healthy lives just as we all want. There's no strings attached. We have seen great changes with the Kalehe Batwa over 4 coming up on 5 years. And we will share more in the coming weeks.
Donate if you can, we are grateful for your love, prayers, and donations!