For many of us, the only time we may have ever used a kerosene lamp was when we were “roughing it” on a campout. The use of kerosene lanterns, however, is a part of normal life for many families living in rural Kenya where a lack of electricity can present great challenges to even basic survival. Our World in Data estimates there are 940 million people who lack access to electricity.  These numbers represent millions of individuals living in poverty, including Felix Nyaleso, who is a beneficiary of the work of Children with Disabilities Fund International (CDFI) in Kenya.

Felix is seven years old, the youngest of five siblings, and lives with Down syndrome. His parents both perform odd jobs to make a living, which has been made nearly impossible due to pandemic shut downs. Until recently, Felix’s family used a kerosene lamp with a matchbox to light their home at night. These kerosene lamps are common in rural Kenya, but they are expensive, as much of the family’s meager income must be spent on kerosene and matches to light the lamps. In addition to being expensive, kerosene can be very unsafe, as high levels of soot and chemicals are leached out into the home. With much of the Nyaleso family’s income going towards kerosene and matches, little is left for basic necessities for the family, let alone to meet Felix’s needs, which are far more complex. 

Recently, through donor contributions, CDFI has been able to purchase solar lights for Felix’s family as well as about 50 other families in Kenya, all who have at least one child with special needs. These lights only require 1 hour of sunlight in order to provide 8 hours of light. By providing these solar lights to families like Felix’s, CDFI is able to relieve some financial burden, positively impact the health of the child and family, and enable parents and caregivers to effectively attend to their disabled child during nighttime hours.

Felix Nyaleso and his mother received a solar light from CDFI.

The solar lights that CDFI hopes to provide to an additional 150 families in their Kenya program cost $50 each. This relatively insignificant amount of money goes a long way toward helping a family in Kenya receive access to a commodity we take for granted. Will you please consider giving the gift of light to a struggling child and their family? You can, quite literally, light up a child’s life.

To donate $50 for a solar light for a family in Kenya, please go to https://www.purecharity.com/fundraisers/cdfi-solar-lights

To learn more about Children with Disabilities Fund International, please visit www.thecdfi.org