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Angola – Claudio Lamsa Da Silva

HiLight_Story_19_Claudio_Lamsa_Da_Silva_1I am staying in Angola and I brought the HiLight to different parts of Angola to introduce it to other people.

One area we visited was construction sites. As Angola has the fastest growing economy in Africa, there are a lot of construction projects going on. Apart from the normal working hours, the workers worked at night and even on Sundays to meet the tight schedule. HiLights could be used to provide adequate lighting for workers at night.

We had also done a mini case study on the selling of mobile phone charges. In Angola, the cost of charging a cell phone on a generator cost approximately 1 dollar. If an entrepreneur decides to sell the mobile charges at 0.8 dollars; this means that by selling 10 phone charges a day, he will get an income of 8 dollars a day which amounts to 240 dollars a month. This is the average salary of a maid or a gardener etc.

In all, many other groups such as the military, health institutions and institutes that are fighting against poverty have also expressed their interest in HiLight. I believed that the product would be beneficial for the people especially in terms of cost savings and income generating.

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Photograph in courtesy and by Claudio Lamsa Da Silva
Ambangol LDA

HiLight charges my mobile phone  HiLight by HiNation

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Nepal – Jenny Bisther

HiLight_Story_9_Jenny_Bisther_1

HiLight lighting up a room

During my 10 days of trekking between the gurung-villages of western Nepal, I could really put my HiLight to a test. These villages lack both electricity supply and road access and when the sun goes down in the evening most activities come to an end. My HiLight attracted much curiosity and attention, often the only source of light in the villages except for some kerosene lamps, cooking fires and the occasional solar lamp offering a weak bluish light. Kerosene is both expensive and hazardous and is therefore used sparingly.

We used my HiLight all the time. The Himalayan sun is strong and after a day of charging, strapped to my backpack, we could charge both cameras and mobile phones apart from having access to proper light. We also used HiLight as a strong torch when heading out into the dark!

The use and knowledge of solar cells is generally widespread in Nepal and even in the most remote villages people know how solar cells can help them. Many houses have a small panel on the roof that provides enough energy for a couple of hours of weak light. Both the domestic government and foreign NGO’s are involved in distributing basic solar lanterns to schoolchildren in remote areas.

A product such as HiLight can really make a change in the living conditions for villagers like the ones we visited. Not only does it permit to keep studying and working after dark. It also offers efficient charging of mobile phones (otherwise charging possibilities is a big dilemma for villagers who have the opportunity to acquire a mobile phone) as well as other equipment such as for example a small radio via USB. Access to mobile phones and radios provide many positive effects; contact with the outside world, the ability to perform banking transactions, increased revenue opportunities, etc. I hope that more people will have the opportunity to discover the advantages of HiLight. For me, HiLight has become just as essential as my camera when I pack my bags for this kind of travelling!

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Photograph in courtesy and by Jenny Bisther
Synergy Partner

HiLight lighting up a room  Seasoned mountaineer  Seasoned mountaineer testing HiLight  Electrical wires

Solar panels on rooftops  Dangerous electrical cables

 

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India – Åsa Sköndal

HiLight_Story_7_Åsa_Sköndal_1

India, Åsa SköndalThrough a school project I had the opportunity to go to India and that is where I got the chance to test out the HiLight. We were not in India during the hot summer period but autumn instead. The temperature of the day was around 25 degrees at midday and the area was quite dry. I tested the light in Madhya Pradesh at The Kanha National Park and the desert state of Rajasthan. In Rajasthan, it was really dry and the temperature was around 30 degrees.

During the trip, the HiLight has worked exactly as it should, the only thing was that the plastic edge was a bit loose in one place but it has not affected the HiLight’s performance at all. We used the HiLight to charge our camera, iPhone and MP3. First, we will charge the HiLight under the sun during the day and then we would charge our equipments in the evenings.

Initially, my friends were a bit skeptical. They thought it was a pretty big lamp and did not understand why it looked so “odd”. When I told them that the HiLight could recharge electronics, no one believed me. It was during one of the nights when my friend’s iPhone was out of battery and the electricity was turned off so she could not charge it. When I offered her my HiLight, she said, “Nah, then it will take so long.”

The funny thing was that then when we realized how smart it is to charge with the HiLight, we began to start using it excessively. When the first mp3 player was charged, we were all surprised. “It loaded the giant frog”, exclaimed one of the girls.

The HiLight has certainly been very useful for us during the trip. During our travel, although we mostly had good access
for charging and power, it was still difficult to get along. The reason I did not use the HiLight was when we were at
Bode. In the evenings, we were so used to the wall lights and if we need light, it was easier to just take a flashlight. But I can certainly imagine that if you are camping or hiking, HiLight is certainly perfect for brightening up a space for a long time.

If people are more interested in using HiLight as a charger, I think the weight and size of HiLight should be reduced. However, if people are using it just for the light, then the opposite is true.

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Photograph in courtesy and by Åsa Sköndal
Student

HiLight charging from the sun  HiLight charging Ipod  Suntanning with HiLight  Rainforest

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Kenya – Ken Levicki

HiLight_Story_3_Ken_Levicki_5

Kenya, Ken LevickiI work in the field of development assistance, mainly with rural development in East Africa. For the past couple of years, I’ve occasionally been experimenting with various solar and dynamo powered products for portable lighting and mobile phone charging. During a recent 3 week assignment to the Lake Victoria region in Kenya I had the opportunity to test HiLight.

In my experience, HiLight is the first product that truly lives up to its performance claims. Charging my phone with it is just as effective as plugging in to electricity mains. The device’s construction was of good quality and durability to handle the elements and bumps while motor biking out on rough, dusty country trails.

The capacity of the battery met my expectations both as phone charger and lamp. I was especially impressed by the strength and wide shine of the light. My Kenyan colleague, Pastor John Ombwayo, stated it well – “this light is bright, just like electricity”!  I was even surprised it was capable of charging 2 phones at once though not designed for it.

HiLight became such an important kit in my travel that I felt insecure leaving it unattended! There were times when it needed to continue charging but I couldn’t or didn’t want to stay out in direct sun with it. It would be useful to have some means of fastening a small padlock in order to reduce the risk of it quickly walking away.

In any case, I can safely say that the HiLight will become a regular item of my travel kit. It’ll certainly be my trusted companion out on remote field assignments, and even when based in town it will find good use to allow me to continue working through the frequent power outages.

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Photograph in courtesy and by Ken Levicki
INUG – Ingenjörer och Naturvetare utan Gränser

HiLight charging mobile phones  HiLight lighting up a room  HiLight lighting up a store  HiLight charging mobile phones

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Tanzania – Voices from some fields test participants

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HiLight_Story_11_Maria AbrahamMaria Abraham lives with her five children in Nanyogie in north-eastern Tanzania. Mary’s oldest daughter, Petina, attends school in Arusha, all other lives with Maria in the maasai community. HiLight reduces Maria’s cost of kerosene with 3150Tsh/week (=USD 2,50). Maria also uses her HiLight to charge her cell phone instead of walking four hours to the nearest place to recharge. She also charges the neighbors’ mobile phones, giving a contribution to the household income.

“I use my HiLight to organize evening classes outside my house for the village children. Now we do not need to make a fire to get lighting and my chores much easier!”

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HiLight_Story_11_Abdi_and_Mariam

Abdi and Mariam live outside Tanga in a house that Abdi built himself. They are 23 respectively 20 years old and have two children together. Abdi works as a fisherman in Tanga, and when possible, holds evening classes in English in his home to earn some extraincome. With HiLight will he is able to expand the teaching thanks to a bright light that illuminates the entire room.

 

“For the sake of our children, we try to have a kerosene lamp lit all night to easily take care of them if they wake up, but it is too expensive for us. With HiLight we have been able to keep the light on all night without worrying about the cost! Also, we can charge our mobile phone, which saves us both time and money.”

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HiLight_Story_11_Zainab_Nanyaro

Zainab Nanyaro was a former principal of the nursing school in Tanga, and is now working with the nursing and midwife education at Tanga International Conference Center. Small medical clinics in rural areas in Tanzania very rarely have access to electricity, which makes working at night complicated. Nurses often visit patients lacking electricity, and then usually have to work in the light from a kerosene lamp.

 

“HiLight should be included in the standard equipment kit that midwives receive at graduation. If nurses had access to HiLights they could provide better assistance to patients. Now that I have one I can lend it to my students when they are out of practice in the villages.”

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HiLight_Story_11_Marias_ole_Pello

Marias ole Pello is Maasai chief in Engaruka, a settlement with 2000 inhabitants. To charge a cell phone here, 35 km from the electric grid, costs about 1000 Tsh (=0,8USD). Marias sees a great need for HiLight, as the Maasai are completely isolated for days while herding their animals. HiLight also saves money on kerosene, which previously could consume up to 0,7 liters/day (1,5USD/day).

 

“HiLight is very easy and convenient, perfect for the Maasai people because we are a nomadic people. I put it on my walking stick when I move. HiLight is easy to use – anyone in our village can use it. The problem with mobile charging is over, now that I have access to a HiLight. I charged eight cell phones during the first two days!”

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HiLight_Story_11_Regina_Mchao

Regina Mchao is a Maasai from Ngorongoro and lives since several years in Dar es Salaam. Regina says there is a great need for lighting and charging even in Dar es Salaam since the grid is so unstable and households need back-up solutions.

 

 

 

“Previously, I had to carry my rechargeable lanterns with me to work and charge them at the office during the day, but it made me feel uncomfortable. Now I can use HiLight for lighting throughout the evening, and my children have taken it upon themselves to ensure that it charges in the sun during the day. After I got a HiLight, I have not spent a cent on kerosene!”

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HiLight_Story_11_Simon_Joseph

Simon Joseph is a teacher at the maasai school in Nanyogie in north-eastern Tanzania. Teachers need mobile phones to communicate with their managers, and Simon will no longer have to walk for hours to a place to recharge your phone. A teacher in Tanzania makes approximately 140 000 Tsh/month (=110 USD), of which 10% is spent on kerosene.

 

“HiLight is so good! We have been able to charge our phones ourselves instead of walking to four hours to the nearest village, and I use it every night to read and prepare lessons. If we had HiLights in all schools, students would have light and could to do their homework in the evenings.”

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HiLight_Story_11_Ernest_Mtaya

Ernest Mtaya is artist and teacher, working at a private school in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where students from all ethnic groups go. Ernest lives in Dar es Salaam, but his neighborhood still lacks availability to electricity. To charge from the sunlight, he attaches HiLight onto his backpack during the day.

 

 

“I live in Dar es Salaam, but have no access to electricity. Many are forced to use kerosene lamps, even here in town, and they do not know the environmental problems or the risk of fumes causing health problems. Now that I have a HiLight I can do my job better by preparing my lessons at night!”

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HiLight_Story_11_Rafael_ole_Moono

Rafael ole Moono lives in Dar es Salaam with his wife, and travel regularly back to Handeni, where he grew up. Rafael is very involved in the Maasai community development, and runs the organization “Imosut e Purka” (=”Awareness for All” in Maasai).

 

 

“I have used HiLight during a month when travelling around Tanzania with HiNation, and we had so much use of it. When the car broke in the middle of the steppe and the mechanic needed to light to fix it, to charge our mobile phones while on the road, or as soon as it was dark. For the Maasai people who live far from the electric grid, this is a vital product!”