Project Sunshine lighting the dark in townships

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Life without light is a struggle, especially when you need to do homework at night or need to charge your phone to search for job opportunities.

In South Africa, it is common for communities living in impoverished settlements not to have direct access to electricity and water. The same applies to Kameeldrift Plot 175 – on the other side of Pretoria in Gauteng.

Jaqueline Mashitisho, a community leader in the area says that life is difficult for the plus minus 3000 residents.

“There are only six taps which we all have to share. We find that ten families are sharing one plastic toilet, life is tough here. The politicians do come here but so far nothing has been done.”

The Butterfly Foundation has since intervened in the area by installing solar lights in dwellings to help the children focus on their school work at night.

Watch the video report below:

Raymond Hugo from the foundation explains that the only prerequisite for families to receive these lights, are that children attending school must be part of the household.

“It’s a basic installation where we put a solar panel on the roof. This is just the way we try and make life a little bit better for people. We have a lot of challenges in South Africa and this is just one small piece of light and hope to remind children that there are people out there who care about their wellbeing and want to help. “

These houses were identified through a questionnaire done by a trusted social worker in the area.

Hugo alongside the other members of the Butterfly Foundation takes time off from their busy lives and work schedules to give back to communities.

“When you make the decision, that I want to make a change in South Africa, you actually have to be prepared that it’s going to take some effort and time and sometimes it’s going to be uncomfortable. You have to get out there and do something to, sit there and have wonderful ideas and just talk about issues and solutions is not going to bring about any change, you need to do something, activate, someone or something so that the change can actually realise at the end.”

The project has been running for the past six years with Kamcare with the goal to install 1 000 solar lights in informal settlements.