little sun and santa shoebox project have teamed up to bring solar light to students in rural south africa. with the help of people — who shared light by symbolically purchasing little suns online — a total of 1395 little sun solar lamps were raised and have now been distributed by santa shoebox project to children living in some of south africa’s most remote areas such as hoedspruit, calvinia, and matatliele. these children live in communities where few homes are connected to the electrical grid, face social problems and the high risk of shack fires. 

little sun + santa shoebox project bring solar light to students in rural south africa designboom
all images © tim feherty (unless noted)

 

 

the distribution of the little suns was facilitated through santa shoebox and 15 of their beneficiary organizations like eco-kids in hoedspruit or laerskool elandsvlei. the principal of the laerskool elandsvlei school in calvinia— nicolette van der merwe — was happy to see the little suns being used by her pupils. as it is getting dark quite early these days, the lamps help them to walk home safely after school and aid them in completing their homework.

little sun + santa shoebox project bring solar light to students in rural south africa designboom

 

 

‘we had parents meeting last night. it is now getting dark quite early at night. it was so nice to see children and parents attending the meeting – walking to school and walking back home using little sun lights. we have also noticed a huge improvement in children’s homework. the lamps are playing an important role in the region as they are in a community where there is 100& no electricity.’ – nicolette van der merwe.

little sun + santa shoebox project bring solar light to students in rural south africa designboom
‘little sun’, 2012. detail of an image © meklit mersh

 

 

founded by artist olafur eliasson and engineer frederik ottesen, little sun is a social business and a global project that aims to bring clean, reliable, and affordable energy to the 1.1 billion people in the world living in off-grid areas without electricity. by purchasing little suns in areas of the world with electricity, the buyer is making the lamps available in off-grid areas at reduced, locally affordable prices, providing a clean alternative to toxic and expensive fuel-based lighting and a steadfast alternative to replying on the electrical grid. little sun addresses the need for energy in a sustainable way that benefits off-grid communities by working with local entrepreneurs, creating local jobs, and generating local profits.

little sun + santa shoebox project bring solar light to students in rural south africa designboom

little sun + santa shoebox project bring solar light to students in rural south africa designboom

little sun + santa shoebox project bring solar light to students in rural south africa designboom

little sun + santa shoebox project bring solar light to students in rural south africa designboom

little sun + santa shoebox project bring solar light to students in rural south africa designboom

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