Social entrepreneur Anna Sidana is pioneering a B1G1 program for solar power through One Million Lights, a non-profit organization that offers fully rechargeable solar lighting and energy systems to citizens of developing countries. The mission of One Million Lights is to replace lanterns fueled by toxic kerosene so commonly used in the Third World with clean, safe non-electric lighting that is affordable and free of toxic fumes and materials.
One Million Lights: Solving Fossil Fuel Burning Health and Safety Issues in Developing Countries
In rural areas of developing nations, families don’t often have access to electricity. Instead, they rely on kerosene-fueled lanterns to light their homes which release fumes that contribute to a range of health issues, including blood clots and kidney damage, irritation of mucous membranes, and skin irritations. In addition, this fuel source is quite expensive, and it’s very flammable, creating fire hazards in homes that often have small children.
Typically, families in Third World countries spend $150 on kerosene annually. For impoverished families, this represents a large chunk of their yearly income. Safe and affordable One Million Lights energy systems (such as their signature design, The Mighty Light) offer high-quality lighting that continues to work over the long term, so it saves families money, while also protecting them from the adverse health problems and safety risks that come with kerosene fuel.
Since One Million Lights products are extremely affordable, they take a lot of financial pressure off of men and women in developing nations, by offering them access to inexpensive lighting that is fully re-chargeable. The goal of One Million Lights is to sell one million lighting products in developing nations to those with the greatest need.
Products produced by One Million Lights also power up electronic devices, such as cell phones. These multipurpose energy systems allow impoverished communities to save money, since they don’t need to buy disposable batteries to run their electronic devices.
About this Entrepreneur for a Change: Anna Sidana
Born in Rajasthan, India, social entrepreneur Anna Sidana is the daughter of a teacher who founded his own village school in her hometown. Inspired by this village school and its potential, Sidana realized the power of social change from a very early age. Sidana decided to create her non-profit after working with Stanford students who were attempting to design solar-powered lighting. Her mentoring of these students evolved into her first experiment with social entrepreneurship.
Today, this inspirational woman holds down a full-time job in the tech field, while also taking care of her growing charity and her two children. Educated at the British Computer Society in the United Kingdom, Ms. Sidana is a seasoned mentor of social entrepreneurship programs in California’s Silicon Valley.