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Community Outreach

africa solar buddy foundation

"Right from the start of Naturally Solar with the development of the Solar Buddy lantern we wanted to bring light into homes across South Africa and especially to the children."

The introduction or change over to sustainable resources, by a community, has long term beneficial results. Naturally Solar has carefully chosen products to facilitate individuals and communities in realising these benefits.


There are multiple shack fires across South Africa every day resulting in death, burn wounds and loss of property. In Cape Town alone there were 1177 shack fires in 2012 affecting 3480 homes resulting in 105 deaths. (Stats supplied by City of Cape Town Fire Safety Symposium) 


Josiah Trust Klipheuwel Solar Buddy lanterns


Josiah Trust – "Hi Guys, just wanted you to see how awesome the Solar Buddies look. We are handing out the lights to Grade 11 and 12 students (initially) in Klipheuwel outside Durbanville. In the township side there is no electricity whatsoever. The children have to do homework by candlelight.(Seriously!) These lights are going to transform the lives of these kids. While we can't be there to tutor each kid, we could make it possible for them to at least be able to do their work. Thank you for your prompt delivery and a wonderful product. God bless you as your Solar Buddies are blessing these kids."

Josiah Trust - "Hi Guys today we started handing out the next batch of Solar Buddies. What a change these lights have made in these young adults and children's lives. Just wanted to share our excitement with you. Today we were able to bless some more of the children with the Solar Buddy rechargeable lights. They are such a great Godsend for these children. May God bless all of you who have given toward this tangible way of expressing God's love to these children. "


getaway show naturally solar"The Getaway show ended on a high note for Open Africa, as we received 25 Solar Buddy lights to donate to the victims of the Kayamandi shack fires in Stellenbosch, who we are busy working with on a new route project. A massive thank you to the Solar Buddy angels for their generous donation!!!"

In March, Naturally Solar participated at the Getaway Show in Cape Town. On the Saturday morning we woke up to the news of the terrible fire at Kayamundi in Stellenbosch. By pure chance later in the day I met a representative of Open Africa at the show. Open Africa is an NGO using tourism as an economic platform to create and sustain jobs for rural communities throughout Southern Africa . ( Open Africa are busy working on a new route project in Kayamandi. They had spent the night helping to rebuild homes and were going back after their shift at the Getaway Show to carry on. It was a no brainer, Naturally Solar donated 25 lights to Kayamandi. We also had a customers buying lights from us at the show for employees who had been affected by the fire.

sam samanye solar buddyDavid Hutton bought 2 lights from us at Getaway – "Good chatting with you at the Getaway Show held at Lourensford, Somerset West, this past weekend. Those 2 Solar Buddies I bought were delivered to Sam, his wife, Simanye and their kids yesterday, and they're delighted"

Although it is gratifying to be able to help in the aftermath of a situation, it seems a little too late.

We believe that we can be part of the solution. Naturally Solar, via the Solar Buddy Foundation is looking to partner with businesses, organisations, private individuals in getting as many children as possible a Solar Buddy.

To be part of the solution, if you bought one Solar Buddy and donated it to a family, perhaps you domestic worker or an employee - you would be making a difference.


  • Education, health and safety and economic opportunity are seriously impacted by lack of reliable, clean, affordable resources.
  • 'Energy burdens' suffered by poor households are shack fires, poor household air quality, time spent collecting firewood and paraffin poisoning.
  • 3.4 Million South Africans have no access to electricity.
  • 67% of those households earn less that R1000 per month.

Energy Sources in low income households."Data collected from over 12000 households in low-income areas during the past few years indicate that not only one energy carrier is used solely. A range of energy carriers are used in low-income communities. This slide indicates that 57% of households surveyed used paraffin for cooking and 23% used electricity for cooking. When looking at heating, 46% of households surveyed used paraffin and 18% used electricity (with a similar percentage using wood). Candles remain a common source of lighting in resource poor communities." ~

  • Paraffin candles produce carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, when burned. They also produce soot which is a lung irritant.
  • About 2000 children die annually in South Africa as a result of respiratory infections caused by air pollution, making it the sixth largest killer of children under the age of four (Balmer 2007)
  • Children are placed at risk of burns and poisoning due to lack of safe storage and clearly demarcated areas for cooking and recreation space.
  • A United Nations Development Program study demonstrates that household businesses with improved lighting have up to a 30 percent increase in income due to increased productivity at night.
  • A World Bank project study shows pass rates of an entire school increased from 57 percent to 100 percent after students studied with bright solar lighting.

Mobile Clients: Please download the presentation here.

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The Solar Buddy Foundation

Our vision

To promote and provide children of the SADC region, living with compromised or no electrical light, with Solar Buddy lanterns. Use its facilities and resources to promote solar energy solutions to underprivileged communities.

To collaborate with similar organizations and communities, including Government Departments to identify and distribute solar lighting to children in the SADC region, living with compromised or no electrical light.

The area in which business will be carried out and in which contributions will be collected shall be the Southern Africa region, known as SADC. The funds of the Foundation will be applied in this area. Such contributions collected will be used to administer the fund and to promote, purchase and provide solar lanterns in accordance with our objectives and not for trading purposes.

The Solar Buddy Foundation is in the process of registering with the Dept. of Social Development as a Non Profit Organization.

Download Constitution

  044 382 1999