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Solar Home Libraries

Like their counterparts all over the world, the students from Mara Girls Leadership School were sequestered at home during Covid-19. Many of these families live in earthen homes without power or light, and books are not to be found. We responded to this need by providing each of the 48 families with a Solar Home Library. This project had been a dream of ours for a long time, and the unusual circumstances provided an opportunity to pilot it. Hear what Nelly from Mara Girls has to say about her solar library. 


The Pilot Project at Mara Girls

A Solar Home Library contains a robust SunBell Smart solar lantern big enough to light up the main room of a Maasai home, a study encyclopedia for the student, and a library of children's books and readers in English and Kiswahili for the family. Teachers from Mara Girls delivered the Libraries along with class assignments, food, and sanitary supplies. This enabled the girls to continue studying at home. When they returned to school in February 2021, they brought their encyclopedia with them while the Library continued to provide light and literacy for their family back home.

Each family received a SunBell Smart solar lantern from BRIGHT Products.

Many families in the Maasai Mara live in earthen homes without light or power. See an inside.

  •  Powerful enough to light up the main room​

  • A hanging light, focused reading light, or lantern to carry in the dark​

  • 110 hours of light on a 5-hour charge​

  • Proven effective at local safari camps

  • Robust and built for long-term use


Each Mara Girls student received a Targeter Student Encyclopedia that combines enrichment material for all standard subjects in Kenya, chosen by their teachers.


Each family received a home library with 14 books for young readers that have proven to be popular in the Mara Girls library: storybooks in English and Kiswahili from a popular series published in Kenya to help young people develop reading skills; and children's picture storybooks with folktales about East African animals, to engender a love of wildlife and reading.

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