Empowered by Light

Our mission is to improve lives by empowering people with renewable energy technologies.

http://www.empoweredbylight.org

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This is Smaragan, a 5th grader at the #Mugumareno #school in #Zambia She plans to become a teacher after graduation and is using the extra hours of light #solarpower is providing to study and work towards a brighter future for herself and her family. #solar #solarlove #brighterfuturebecauseofsolar #Africa #knowledgeispower 📷@aerialmediacostarica

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Our team wishes you all a happy #earthday This is a photo of the #Zambezi #escarpment taken from just in front of the #solar array in #Mugumareno #Zambia #Africa

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We're pretty sure this is the first photo ever taken of #Mugumareno at night. When the solar lights were switched on, the villagers gathered in front of this small store and danced for hours in celebration of the new opportunities #solar will provide. #standardmicrogrid #leonardodecapriofoundafion #trinasolar #Zambia @conservation_lower_zambezi @aerialmediacr

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A few days ago the sunset in Mugurameno signified the end of being productive for the day. When the sun went down, the town went dark. Now that they have solar power, the locals are venturing out at night to continue their day. Kids are studying at school and parents are enrolling in night classes. These extra hours of productivity will translate into better grades and new opportunities. #brighterfuturebecauseofsolar #solar #leonardodecapriofoundafion #standardmicrogrid #trinasolar #education

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Although the kids of #Mugumareno have been watching us build the #solar array, dig trenches for power cable, and connect the school over the last month, most didn't fully understand what was happening until the lights came on. Now they wave at us, start dancing and shout "you bring the light, you bring the light" each time they see a member of our team. I'm not sure if there is a better feeling in the world than making a child smile and knowing you helped create a brighter future for them. #Africa #Zambia #brighterfuturebecauseofsolar #solarlove #standardmicrogrid #leonardodecapriofoundafion #trinasolar #zanaco @conservation_lower_zambezi

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Mugumareno is a gorgeous little village that sits between the #zambezi #river and the Zambezi #mountains. We want to swim across the river to #Zimbabwe but the #hippos and #crocs are keeping us out of the water. 🐊😁#Africa #nature #solar #Zambia

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The school in Mugurameno #Zambia had light for the first time last night. In addition to the 496 children enrolled in the school, the administrators plan to add night classes for adults looking to further their education. #brighterfuturebecauseofsolar #Africa #solar #sustainable #education #standardmicrogrid #leonardodecapriofoundation #trinasolar @conservation_lower_zambezi

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The town of Mugurameno #Zambia is connected to the #solar array and tonight we bring the light! These are exciting times. Can you feel it? #Africa #brighterfuturebecauseofsolar

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This endeavor wouldn't be possible without the dedication and expertise of our partners, Standard Microgrid. Brian and Matt have been on the ground in Mugurameno for over two weeks installing the system and bringing it to life. One of the things that sets this system apart from others is that we are also able to provide electricity to local residents. They pay a small set up fee and a monthly rate for a pre-determined amount of power. These fees go towards future upkeep and maintenance making this a truly #sustainable system. This is shot of them working with locals to connect a private home. #Africa #Zambia #brighterfuturebecauseofsolar

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The children of #Mugumareno are excited that their school will have power tonight. #brighterfuturebecauseofsolar #Zambia #Africa #solar #smilesallaround

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Made some new friends today. These are some of the students and future students of the school in Mugumareno that will enjoy the benefits of light and power from the solar array being installed. #Africa #solar #Zambia #brighterfuturebecauseofsolar

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Dropped in to @conservation_lower_zambezi and started seeing animals right away. I took this shot while on a walk just outside the camp. Mind blown😜 I had a long talk with Ian whom runs the camp and has been working in #africa for over 25 years. He gave me some great insight into why he thinks @empoweredbylight is succeeding where others have failed. I'll share that story soon. #Zambia #Africa #solar #elephants #lowerzambezi

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I have so many new stories to tell but I'm trying to keep things in order. The internet here is painfully slow and very expensive so i'm just going to post this pic of my small plane ride a few hours ago. I was the only person on the plane other than pilots. They dropped me into another world aka "the bush" This side of #Africa is exciting and more beautiful than I ever imagined. There are animals everywhere and the locals smile with their entire body. I took hundreds of photos/videos today so stay tuned. Tomorrow I finally get to share some really good stuff. Paz y pura vida y'all. Thanks for the overwhelming love and support. It means a lot to me. #Zambia @conservation_lower_zambezi #imfinallythere

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Well after 63 hours of planes, trains and automobiles i am in #Lusaka #Zambia. Plans have changed a little and it looks like I will be hopping on a puddle jumper in the morning and heading to @conservation_lower_zambezi instead of #Mugurameno The rains have made it nearly impossible to get to the #solar installation for a few days so I'm going to clz to video some elephants, lions, and hopefully fly #victoriafalls before shooting the solar project at the school. I should have cell service tomorrow and will update when I have something fun to share. For those of you following this adventure via my FB, please head over to Instagram and follow @empoweredbylight Gracias y Pura Vida y'all.

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After a 7 hour delay i finally arrived in #dubai just in time for #sunset Now I'm sitting in a restaurant seeing things that I've only seen on TV. More on that later. For now I'm just hoping that the dish I just ordered isn't spicy and I can keep my malaria pills in my belly. #solar #solarlove #eyeswideopen #newexperiencesrule

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After a 7 hour delay in nyc I'm finally moving again. Loving the empty plane and on demand movies. Gotta say, @emirates is pretty plush. They even hooked me with a warm cloth, comfy socks and a toothbrush when I boarded. See ya in 12 hours #dubai This kid is #africabound to spread some #solarlove

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I'm about to embark on the first leg of my mission to #Zambia. I am more excited than scared but definitely both 😛🙁. It was great to get some last minute advice and words of encouragement from my buddy and Ghana native @weediebraimah #africabound #solar #nthpowerlovesyou

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Next it's off to the Village of Mugurameno in Zambia to install solar for the off-grid rural school there!

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We donated and installed solar for Conservation Lower Zambezi, saving them $12,000 a year by no longer needing diesel generators. More money for poaching patrols and teaching local children about conservation!

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We are in the Congo at Virunga national park, bringing solar to these wonderful rangers who can now charge their communications equipment right away instead of walking for 4-5 hours.

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