Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Simple Solution for a Very Poor World

Imagine if you had no electricity. No lights. No radio. Don't even think about television or internet. When sun goes down, your world becomes dark and silent. Or worse. Using kerosene lamps, your world becomes dirty and dangerous.

This is what the world is like for 1.3 billion people. Including children who never have a chance to get the kind of education that could release them from a pernicious cycle of poverty.

Now imagine just one light. One light that gives children a chance to read. That gives a family the ability to stop wasting their money, health and safety on kerosene. Think about how just one light could improve the lives of a child and their family.

ToughStuff solar panels are providing desperately poor communities around the world with enough power to light their homes and charge batteries for radios and cell phones. The company does this with a tiny, inexpensive solar panel that costs about $15. Equivalent to the cost of about 12 weeks of kerosene.

The ToughStuff solar panel is designed to deliver high performance while being durable enough to survive in even the most extreme environments. The panel is very robust, UV-resistant, and water-proof. It works in even low light conditions

Here's the best part. ToughStuff is doing this without any government or aid agency grants. People pay for the solar panels. Distributors earn a commission selling the solar panels.

ToughStuff also has a "buy one/give one" program for those of us in more economically developed parts of the world. Half the purchase price of every ToughStuff solar kit bought in developed countries goes towards funding the company's Business in a Box programme. You will be supporting a Solar Village Entrepreneur (SVE) to set up a business selling or renting ToughStuff products, generating profit to improve his/her livelihood, and improving access to sustainable products in off-grid communities. The company provides vital training and assistance to run a profitable enterprise – the average ToughStuff SVE earns $500-1000 each year – ensuring a sustainable and lasting route out of poverty.

For more information, go to

John J.P. Howley
Woodbridge, New Jersey

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