Little Sun and the SDGs – shortly explained

This is Hassna.

Hassna and her family do not have any access to energy. Due to living close to the equator, the sun sets around 6 pm year round.

After the sun sets, Hassna’s family lives in pure darkness. Their only source of light is a small kerosene lamp or a sparse fireplace. Hassna and her family experience energy poverty. According to World Bank, 1.1 billion people worldwide are affected.

The Agenda 2030 was determined in New York in September 2015. It is a milestone for the future of our planet, specifying a sustainable transformation plan for the global economy, social life, and environment. And this plan has a direct impact on Hassna and her family.

The Agenda 2030 defines 17 goals, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and among these goals lies Goal 7: the prevalence of affordable and clean energy. By 2030, all people on this planet should have access to affordable, reliable, and clean energy. There has never been such an ambitious goal before, and maintaining a sustainable energy supply globally is a complex task.

Since Hassna and her family do not have access to energy, they cannot read, work or do their homework after sunset. Kerosene lamps and fireplaces as sources of light do not provide enough light to see or work easily. This has an impact on school performance. The probability of dropping out of school without a qualification is quite high. Since Hassna and her family do not have access to clean energy, they are forced to use their kerosene lamp and their fireplace. The smoke and fumes from both are very harmful for the eyes and can cause eye and lung diseases.

Since Hassna’s home has no connection to a power supply,  her family has to spend a lot of money for kerosene or on batteries for flashlights. In addition, they also need to pay for transportation to a shop to buy kerosene. Although Hassna is attending school, she doesn’t have access to the quality of education that others in the world may have access to, and doesn’t learn about the harmful effects of kerosene since her community relies on it. Due to the lack of awareness, Hassna and her family cannot improve their living conditions.

We want to present five goals of the agenda that correlate with sustainable energy..

Our Goal is to contribute to the implementation of the following goals:

SDG 1 We are committed to reducing and perhaps even eradicating poverty. The impact in this sense is that with a solar light, families can save money they would usually need to spend for kerosene or batteries.

SDG 3 We are committed to providing a clean alternative than what is available (Kerosene lamps), and want people to live a healthier life without being harmed by toxic kerosene fumes or fire smoke. The impact is that communities will be healthier and their environment will be less risky. People will not have to worry about kerosene fires being sparked (which the UNEP reports as causing 4.3 million deaths per year) and as solar light is brighter than kerosene lamps, eye health will be less at risk.

SDG 4 We are committed to the power of education to save lives, and with the Little Sun Foundation, communities can be provided with more light with no time limit for getting work done. The impact is that girls like Hassna can have access to an adequate light source to live, work and play, even after the sun sets.

SDG 7 We bring solar energy to communities who live without access to energy, especially to people in refugee camps and children living off the grid. The impact is that girls like Hassna can have access to an adequate energy source that is both affordable and significantly better for the environment.

SDG 13 We are committed to climate action. Those in impoverished areas are especially (if not disproportionately) affected by climate change. Hassna lives in a region suffering heavy rainfalls and droughts due to global warming. If this catastrophic climate remains, her family will not be able to be self sufficient and will be forced to vacate their home someday, as many other Ethiopians have had to. Our goal is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions caused by kerosene. Using kerosene for lighting releases 190 million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere per year, and we want to provide a tangible, realistic solution. We support projects to educate and inform youth on worldwide issues of energy poverty and sustainability. We want to make people aware of their own consumer habits and to become more responsible individuals that are mindful of taking actions against climate change. We aim to raise awareness worldwide by providing information and networking to combat climate change and its severe consequences.

Check out this short video to learn more about the SDGs: