Distribution of solar lights in Tsholotsho, Zimbabwe

The remote area of Tsholotsho which includes the communities bordering the southern section of Hwange National Park recently received a substantial donation of ‘Lights for Literacy’ Solar Lights from the Bourke Family Foundation.

Due to its location, reliable electricity sources are few and far between for the communities of this area, and the majority of those rely on fires and candles for their main source of lighting. Furthermore, most of the children have to walk large distances to return home from school and attend to their chores, which leaves them with very little daylight in which to complete their homework or study for their exams.

With this generous donation, over 408 lives spanning nine schools in the area have been considerably changed. These figures include 47 sponsored students working to maintain their scholarships and 160 grade six students who can now freely spend their evenings studying harder and preparing for their exams.

Around 45 hard-working teachers and Eco-Mentors will also benefit from this gift by enabling them to spend more time preparing their lesson plans and marking previous work.

With such an abundance of lights provided, this donation went beyond the school boundaries and were even provided to over 100 of the ladies contributing to the Women’s Income Generating Groups. These groups were established to give the mothers of students in the area a sustainable means of earning an income and paying their school fees which has a positive rippling effect across the community. With the addition of the economical and environmentally friendly solar lights, the ladies are no longer restricted by daylight working hours and have the chance to increase their productivity.

With so many lasting benefits, we would like to say a massive thank you to the Bourke Family Foundation. Your continued support has a lasting effect not only on current students and teachers, but on the literacy level of the wider region, giving these communities the chance at a much ‘brighter’ future.