The Ministry of Rural Development teamed up with the Grid Earth Project to issue out 200 hundred solar lights to Belizeans living in rural areas. The grid earth project is a charity dedicated to saving lives, improving health, and increasing educational and economic opportunities by providing solar powered LED lighting to those in need. Coordinator of Rural Development Ernest Banner and Audrey Cochran distributed the solar lights to villagers of Jalacte and San Vicente in the Toledo district. .
Ernest Banner – Coordinator, Rural Development
“The main purpose is so that the students who are going to school can study at night can do their homework without inhaling the fumes from kerosene or other harmful fumes. This light may seem very small but it’s the value, it values about $100 Belize dollars that we’ll be issuing out today. We have assisted Grid Earth in bringing them duty free and have transported them here to issue to you all. So I want you to receive it with appreciation and to use it because they are here to be used, you don’t have to buy batteries.”
“Rotary has provided the funds to bring these lights to you, but we need to thank Mr. Banner and the Ministry of Rural Development, without them we couldn’t bring them in duty free and deliver them here to you. Each household will receive one of these lights. This is the solar panel; you’ll want to expose this to the sun during the day to charge the light. This is the light; you push the button to turn on the lights. There are several settings, there is bright for reading, medium for when you’re visiting or walking around the house and low for bed time when the children are getting ready for bed time or watching while your baby sleeps. If you push the button in and hold with your fingers for three seconds it will begin to blink. This is a way to let your neighbors know if there is an emergency and someone needs help. Everyday 1,000 children die in the world because of kerosene fires and millions more children around the world are dying or are injured by fires. Kerosene and candles is the number on cause of death in children under school age because it hurts their lungs and their little lungs can’t handle that and that’s why we bring these lights to village like yours to keep children and families safe and breathing clean air.”