SkyPower Lights the way for Students

By Kgothatso Kage Kgiba

SkyPower, the world’s largest solar developer, is launching SkyPower Cares, one of the company’s corporate social responsibility initiatives, through an inaugural contribution of 5,000 solar-powered lights for South African students.

The announcement of the new initiative was made during the Canada Trade Mission to South Africa led by Canadian Minister of International Trade, the Hon Ed Fast.

Through the SkyPower Cares initiative, SkyPower draws on its global success and expertise to share the gift of light to help empower communities around the world, promoting access to sustainable energy for all.

Portable solar-powered lights are distributed to schoolchildren who live in remote communities with limited access to electricity, allowing them to study during the dark evening hours.

Kerry Adler, SkyPower’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “SkyPower is proud to officially launch SkyPower Cares.

 “This inaugural contribution is just the beginning. Our vision is to inspire and encourage other caring corporations and individuals to help us make a difference for schoolchildren in unelectrified communities worldwide and help them break the cycle of poverty through personal empowerment.”

 In rural regions of Africa, approximately 600 million people live without access to electricity and often rely on highly flammable, expensive and polluting kerosene lanterns as a source of light.

The durable, portable solar-powered lights will provide schoolchildren with over four hours of safe lighting each evening. These additional hours of lighting give students the opportunity to further study and read at night.

The solar-powered lights will empower students to further their education and assist them in developing skills to contribute to continued economic growth in South Africa and the rest of the world.

 The Canadian Minister said: “These solar-powered lights are a shining example of a leading Canadian-managed company’s international contributions through corporate social responsibility,”

“Canada has a long-standing commitment to ensuring girls, boys and youth have access to quality basic education and I commend SkyPower on making a difference through the SkyPower Cares initiative.

 Laura Catherine Marks, Executive Director and Founder of Together We Give, a Kenhardt, South Africa-based not-for-profit agency that responds to locally-identified needs of socio-economically challenged communities, said the organisation was proud of the efforts SkyPower was making.

She said: “The lights will help empower the kids to study and live up to their potential.”

As part of the SkyPower Cares launch, the solar-powered lights will reach 5,000 school-aged South African children and their siblings and have a considerable social impact, creating nearly 7.3 million hours of reading light each year, which will translate into productive study hours. Each light has a life expectancy of 10 years.

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