We believe small things done with a collective of like minded people, has the power to change the world.
The SolarPuff was born out of need when the first earthquake happened in Haiti killing an estimated 200,000 and injured 300,000. The power grid was decimated, and most families used kerosene or candles to light their nights. The smoke and fumes from the kerosene kill an estimated 3.8 million people each year. In addition, people were spending up to 30% of their income on this deadly fuel. Now after the earthquake of 2021 we are in Haiti again to deliver our solar lights to the most underserved communities in the Nippes area of the southern hillside. Although the country was in code red, designated as the most dangerous country to travel, with reports of rampant gang violence and kidnappings, we went anyway, to personally deliver Solights. People told us we were foolish and shouldn’t go but it did not deter our belief in the power of our light to make lives better by not just bringing light, but more importantly, HOPE. That is why we started Solight Design.
In the years after the first earthquake 2010-2014, the burgeoning of tent camps and human settlements were all too common. And many of the women and girls paid a high price - often rape or sexual assault. We witnessed the escalation of assault and rape of young girls and women due to the lack of lighting at night. No light means no surveillance, and the dark is the perfect cover for criminals. A study showed Once solar lights had been given to the tent camps there was a 30% decrease in incidents of assault at the medical clinic the very next day.
Human trafficking and crimes against children and women are most likely to occur after dark. Women are the gateway to community development, and we need to ensure their security. Literacy rates in Haiti have also steadily increased in recent decades and after-sun hours are needed for children to complete homework and reading.
On August 14th, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake shook Haiti. An estimated 650,000 people were affected by the earthquake that destroyed over 130,000 homes.
Solight’s beginnings came from the need to help make lives better by creating a better alternative to kerosene or flashlights. We designed our products with beauty, wonder, and awe, along with utility, we believe it’s just as important as food and water. Design provides Dignity. Our founder, Alice Chun, developed and tested the Solar Puff back in 2010 after the Port Au Prince earthquake. Immediately after the August earthquake, we launched a Give A Light Haiti campaign, raising over 400 lanterns for Haiti. Combined with the lights purchased using profits from all Solight purchases, Alice flew down with 400 lights, distributing them to the small hillside communities in the south.
Alice chose to focus on the smaller villages in the Nippes area, after learning that most NGOs were concentrating resources in Les Cayes. She and other relief workers Dr. Sara Polanco, Jean Loup and Andriss Peti-Frer, drove 7 hours from Port Au Prince to Karfou Michelle, near the village of Lievr. They arrived with a truckload of supplies, food, water and observed many houses were leveled to piles of rubble, with some of the old methods of construction withstanding.
The church that also functioned as a school for the kids living in Karfou Michelle was destroyed by the earthquake. With no plans for reconstruction, The children rely on tarps as shelter and at night most families with children were sleeping on mattresses on the ground outside amongst the rubble. 300 Helix lights and several QWNNs were passed out in this village within a few hours. The remaining 100 lights were given to ISRA AID and Civic Response Haiti. The people of Karfou Michelle expressed deep gratitude and send many thanks for your help.
The above image is of Jean Will Fou. He had no way to read at night and was hungry yet, had the biggest smile after he got a Helix light. His world and future is changed, your light made it possible for Jean Will and many other children to stay safe, read, and learn at night.
You can Help by Donating Light to a Child in HaitiSolight is committed to support Haiti as they build towards recovery once again.We will be sending more lights to children in Karfou Michelle this holiday season. As international compassion wanes, we are still accepting donations for Haiti. Please visit our Give A Light page to learn about our current community partners.