WakaWaka has surpassed its 2011 CGI Commitment to provide light and power to one million people and is confident that it will make another ambitious commitment in 2016. From people in earthquake-ravaged areas in Nepal to the millions in the Philippines left without light or power in the wake of disaster, WakaWaka solar lights have now reached more than 1,077,030 daughters, sons, fathers, and mothers.
In the past three years alone, WakaWaka has distributed over 215,406 WakaWaka solar lights and chargers. Humanitarian aid campaigns have covered vast geographical ground: 41 countries through 295 different projects. This included aiding 75,000 people in areas devastated by Ebola in Liberia and Sierra Leone. In Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, and Iraq, WakaWakas continue to help 535,000 refugees and people displaced by conflict. In the Philippines, WakaWakas reached 110,000 displaced people following Typhoon Haiyan. WakaWakas supported 60,000 people in their continuing recovery from the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and WakaWaka is en route to provide light to 65,000 people displaced by earthquakes in Nepal.
WakaWakas impact across these communities has been demonstrable, providing children with greater educational opportunities as well as families with more hours in the day to work and study, ensuring that families spend less time and money on their daily energy needs. WakaWaka's Commitment has also supported its efforts to displace carbon emissions, linking its impact directly to climate change solutions. A few of WakaWakas noteworthy successes include providing a total of 178,828,830 extra hours for work and study per year, savings on families energy expenses per year of $7,329,489 USD, and 180,299 tons of CO2 displaced per year.
WakaWaka has learned that reaching the off-grid community in a sustainable manner requires employing a variety of distribution models, such as The Virtual Grid. Most rural households in Rwanda cannot afford the upfront cost of a WakaWaka solar light and charger. The Virtual Grid, launched in November of 2014, has replaced high upfront costs of solar-powered energy with weekly payments that are equal to current spending on kerosene and mobile charging. WakaWakas are activated by weekly scratch card payments, and at the end of the leasing period the WakaWaka is fully paid for and given to its new owner. This safe and affordable pay-as-you-go energy alternative has profound impacts on family health, education outcomes, and income opportunities.
Another distribution model helpful in reaching off-grid communities is Buy One, Give One. This is intended for emergency aid relief, whereby with each WakaWaka purchased in more developed countries, a solar light is donated through partnerships with NGOs.
The last distribution model used was establishing WakaWakas as microcredits. In Indonesia, WakaWaka cooperates with local microfinance institutions to incorporate solar lights and chargers into microlending, helping emerging women entrepreneurs to dramatically reduce the time spent repaying the loan as a result of an increased capacity to generate income in the evenings and a decrease in household spending on kerosene.