Give a Child Life (GCL) helps save the lives and nurtures the growth of the world’s most vulnerable young children by providing urgently needed food, medicines, child care and other necessities.

Description of how the funds will be used:

Give a Child Life (GCL) trainees will install 500 Mabati Bulbs (solar lights) in the homes of the poorest families in an urban slum in Kenya, as well as in preschools, feeding centers, child care centers, etc. An estimated 640 adults and over 2500 children in urgent need of light will benefit from the “Light Up a Child’s Life” project.

Description of Project/Program, what makes it compelling, and the specific needs it will address:

In Kiandutu, Kenya, most families live in 10′ x 10′ rooms made of mud and scraps with a door, no windows and no electricity. Mabati bulbs are innovative solar lights made of used two-liter coke bottles filled with water and a bit of bleach, then glued into a home’s sheet iron roof. Lasting two to five years, the bottled light refracts the sun’s rays into the dark, windowless room below, functioning like a 55-watt bulb without costing an additional penny in electricity or fuel. This zero carbon emitting solar lighting solution is made from re-used plastic soda bottles. The only costs are for tin snips and waterproof silicon glue.

Describe the Organization or Project as it pertains to the following Impact Giving Grant Standards: High Impact, Direct Benefit, Education, Sustainability, Community Building, Innovative, Measurable:  High Impact and Direct Benefit:

In this slum area, most of the babies are raised by single mothers. Without light, an infant’s development is stunted by not seeing their mother’s face. Children cannot read or play outside because the slum is so dangerous. When they open doors for light, the danger comes in. Often the children are locked in the dark room so the mother can leave to earn a living. Education is a priority. The lights increase children’s learning as they can safely read and study inside. Nine people will be trained to install the lights and the trainees are asked to teach others. Measurementis a commitment of GCL for all the projects. Recipients will complete a pre-survey before the bulbs are installed and a post-survey two months later. The surveys will measure changes in frequency of children’s reading and doing homework inside; reading proficiency and communication skills; number of accidents and falls; cleanliness of the house; frequency of children’s sickness and infections; plus spending on kerosene, paraffin and electricity. GCL also will document the number of lights installed, locations, type of location and number of adults and children impacted. An evaluation report will be written, distributed to the community, and posted on GCL’s website. This GCL project is both collaborative and community building as they partner with several local organizations critical to their overall mission such as the local healthcare center and several childcare centers. GCL demonstrates sustainability in several ways: It provides free heath care and nutrition in concert with the government health care center. GCL’s paid staff consists of two village elders. The people trust the elders and extend that trust to GCL. The elders help identify those needing help and potential trainees. A previous project, Door-Step gardens gave them perspective in choosing and training volunteer residents. All Board members contribute to GCL financially. They have multiple sources of funds and continue to explore new sources. The ED, Deborah Johnson, works for free and has a PH.D. in design and evaluation of social service programs for children. The village elders, the only paid staff, have a long history in this slum and are well educated and committed. GCL completed and evaluated a small pilot program with the Mabati bulbs which performed as expected on each measurement.

Organization’s overall annual budget: $69,731