A few weeks ago, we had a tornado come through our small town. There wasn’t much damage, thank goodness, but much of the town was without power through most of the night.
And although we’re prepared for small emergencies, with flashlights and candles, we weren’t really prepared for extended hours without lights. It was an interesting experience with three kids who are young and very used to having lights whenever they want them.
So when I was given the chance to participate in IKEA’s Brighter Lives for Refugees Campaign, I really wanted to participate.
IKEA Brighter Lives for Refugees
From February 3 through March 29, 2014, IKEA will be donating one euro ($1.37) to the UN refugee agency UNHCR for every IKEA LEDARE – LED light bulb sold. Those funds will be used to help people in UNHCR refugee camps in countries including Ethiophia, Jordan, Chad and Bangladesh. In addition to indoor solar lanterns and solar street lights, IKEA’s campaign will also provide other renewable energy technologies like fuel efficient cooking stoves and will also be used to improve primary education.
The Difference a Light Can Make
The lack of light after sunset can have a devastating effect on those living in refugee camps. Even the most basic of activities like collecting water or using the toilet can be needlessly dangerous and difficult. The darkness can be especially dangerous for women and girls.
With the funds from the Brighter Lives for Refugees campaign, each camp will be made more suitable and safe for refugee families and children.
Improvements from the Brighter Lives for Refugees will mean:
• Solar street lights will improve safety in the refugee camps and help reduce the risk of crime, sexual and gender-based violence.
• Solar street lights will help improve lives in the refugee camps by enabling more community gatherings and social activities.
• Solar lanterns will allow girls and boys in refugee camps to study after dark, improving their performance and results in school.
• Solar lanterns will enable refugees to continue their income-producing activities after dark, including weaving and sewing.
• Solar lanterns will allow refugees to run their small shops and kiosks into the evening, which will increase the prospect of generating a sustainable income.
One Night Without Lights Challenge
In an effort to help raise awareness about what it’s like to go without lights like those in the refugee camps, I’m accepting the challenge. I’ll be going one entire night without lights of any kind. Then the next light, my only light source will be a solar-powered LED lantern from IKEA.
The One Night Without Lights Challenge starts on Tuesday, February 18th. Once I’ve completed the challenge, I’ll be sharing my experience, my thoughts and more information on LED lighting like those used in the Brighter Lives for Refugees campaign.
Be sure to stay turned to see how we do! I’m looking forward being a part of such a meaningful campaign and can’t wait to share it with you!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.