Descendants of slaves in Brazil get bottled light for their village | Global Ideas | DW | 18.12.2018
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Descendants of slaves in Brazil get bottled light for their village

Electricity is rare in the remote Kalunga villages, but diesel and kerosene lamps are dangerous. Could solar power from plastic bottles be the answer?

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Solar power for the Kalunga

Project goal: Bringing light to remote communities without access to the power grid – simply and sustainably with the help of homemade solar lamps
Project implementation: Volunteers from the NGO Litro de Luz (Liter of Light) show the Kalunga how they can generate solar energy with simple means: a recycled plastic bottle, a small solar panel, a rechargeable battery and an LED-light
Project area: Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park (UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site), State of Goias in central Brazil
Project scope: As part of the Kalunga project, 200 lamps and 10 street lanterns were built in 2018. Since its foundation in Brazil in 2014, more than 1,000 lamps and street lanterns were created in more than 10 projects. Globally, Liter of Light is active in more than 20 countries.

The Kalunga have lived in seclusion in a huge national park in central Brazil for 300 years. Their ancestors had once escaped from slavery — the Kalunga are the country's largest group of slave descendants. Until the 1980s, they had very little contact with the outside world and even today, they still live scattered across a dozen small villages, often without electricity or running water.

To have at least a bit of light at night, they use kerosene or diesel lamps, which are bad for the environment and health. Even worse these lamps are dangerous and often cause fires. Now the NGO Litro de Luz brings them an alternative: a recycled plastic bottle, a LED-light, a small solar panel and a rechargeable battery — light in a bottle!

A film by Bianca Kopsch

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