Solar Soccer in Africa
Solafrica, a Swiss nonprofit, is bringing the excitement of the 2010 FIFA World Cup to residents of Kiberia, Kenya's largest slum - and they are doing it entirely with green energy.
Dubbed "Solar Soccer," the event's intent is to bring the game to Kiberians who would otherwise not be able to see it. According to CIO East Africa, Kiberia lacks many basic services, such as refuse disposal and plumbing, so for many residents, watching the game on Pay-Per-View is not an option. "Most of the residents here do not own TV sets. Neither do they have electricity at home," said Elizabeth Otieno of Solafrica, who was quoted in the article.
The project is especially exciting because this year's World Cup is the first to be hosted in Africa. "Thanks to solar power, the residents of Kibera can now watch the World Cup. The Kibera youths have now conquered the power of the sun," said Joshiah Ramogi, Solafrica's executive director. The games will be shown by a television receiver and projector that are powered entirely by solar energy. Solafrica expected between 300 and 1,000 people to watch the game daily. Volunteers saw the event as an opportunity to encourage youths to pursue sports, rather than crime.
Solar Soccer is part of a larger Solafrica partnership with Greenpeace called the Kiberia Youth Solar Project (KYSP). In KYSP, youth learn to assemble solar-powered lamps that will replace the flammable and toxic Kerosene lamps that are common in Kiberia. The solar lamps can be used to illuminate houses, which Solafrica says will help children do homework at night, as well as keep people safe as they travel through the dark. By selling the lamps, the program hopes to educate children, promote green jobs in Africa, and provide affordable illumination.