Tag Archives: electricity

Jul 11 2012

Dealing with frequent power blackouts in Kenya

When we flip a switch in the United States, we usually expect electricity to flow and lights to turn on. That’s not always the case in Kenya.

Power blackouts are very common, especially during the rainy season. Joy knows this only too well.

Joy, CFCA sponsored child in Kenya, studying by candlelight during a power blackout

Joy, a CFCA sponsored child, studies by candlelight whenever there is a power blackout at her home in Kenya.

Joy, a child sponsored through CFCA’s Hope for a Family sponsorship program, lives in Kangemi with her family. She goes to a nearby school.

After school, Joy goes home and helps her mother with housework before settling down to do homework. She is lucky that they have electricity in their home.

Many households still depend on paraffin and tin lamps to provide them with light.

Joy has an extra reason she doesn’t want the power to go off, especially if it’s a school day and she has homework!

“My mother lights a candle, but it is dim and I strain so much while reading,” she said.

Despite this, Joy also knows that she is lucky to have electricity at home because most of her friends in school are not as fortunate as she is.

“During weekends my friends come over to watch cartoons on television with me. I am disappointed when the power goes out because that means no cartoons,” she said.

Nevertheless Joy is optimistic that in a few years, life will be better and blackouts will be a thing of the past.

Regina Mburu, our CFCA communications liaison in Kenya, contributed to this report.

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Jun 14 2012

Naomi and her family in Tanzania get electricity

A dimly lit lantern used to be the only light by which 15-year-old Naomi, sponsored through CFCA in Tanzania, could do her homework.

This work strained her eyes, and she developed an eye problem that caused her to visit the hospital several times. She was forced to wear eyeglasses to help her sight.

Naomi, CFCA sponsored youth in Tanzania

Naomi, CFCA sponsored youth in Tanzania. This 2011 photo shows her finishing school homework.

Naomi’s father, who is a farmer, watched as his daughter suffered.

“I longed to get electricity in my home, so that my daughter would have an easy time studying at night,” he said.

Naomi’s family is not alone.

Local CFCA staffers estimate about 1,000 families in the Hope for a Family sponsorship program lack access to electricity. (CFCA serves about 2,000 sponsored children and aging friends in Tanzania.)

A family typically pays approximately $2 US a month, or 3,000 Tanzanian shillings, for electricity, according to CFCA staff members.

The lack of electricity meant that Naomi couldn’t iron her clothes and school uniforms with an electric iron. She had to use a coal iron instead. Read more

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