gift card reading 'Spread Joy' Looking for holiday gifts? Give the gift of giving with a GlobalGiving gift card! Shop Gift Cards
This project is competing for bonus prizes *
 Education  Kenya Project #24211

Solar Lanterns for Tana Students

by Tana River Life Foundation Vetted since 2014 Top Ranked Effective Nonprofit
Solar Lanterns for Tana Students
Solar Lanterns for Tana Students
Solar Lanterns for Tana Students
Solar Lanterns for Tana Students
Assa Primary  Night Studies
Assa Primary Night Studies

The months of September and October were busy months for TRLF staff who were criss crossing the Tana Delta, distributing solar lanterns to the most far flung and remote villages. First we did raise over US $ 2,000 during the month for the GlobalGiving Matching Campaign in 12th September. Thank you to all this who participated and the rest who are always supporting our projects. A total of 135 students from 8 different schools and villages have since benefited from this assistance during this period, the majority of them in Grade 7, and who will be sitting for their primary school leaving examinations in Nov 2019. See the table below for the breakdown of the solar lanterns distributed during the months of October and November this year.

  • Chamwanamuma Primary - 35 
  • Serah Primary - 14
  • Odole Primary - 15
  • Shirikisho Primary - 25
  • Miticharaka Primary - 19
  • Assa Primary - 20
  • Kibokoni Primary - 7

All the schools are located in villages not connected to the National Power Grid, and unlikely to be connected in the forseeable future.

Some of the schools have arranged for these students to board at school from Mondays to Fridays to minimize the time students spend travelling from home to school daily. This allows them more time for participation in games, as well as night studies under the guidance of their teachers. This arrangement has been possible because of the solar lanterns. With their classrooms being lit up by the solar lanterns, students from these schools can now do night studies easily.

During the weekends when the students return to their homes, they carry their lanterns with them benefiting their entire families.

Assa Primary School is located 90 kms from our centre. The headteacher there, Mr. Anthony Nyagah , was very grateful and sent feedback that “students in Grade 7 are benefiting so much from the donation of the lanterns, and have started showing good improvement in their rate of learning”. Another primary school which benefited from this assistance, Miticharaka Prmary School, is located in a very remote part of the Tana Delta, with the only access being dirt roads across the many islets leading to the school. These islets are connected by hand constructed wooden bridges. 

The Kenya primary schools academic year ended on 26th Oct 2018 and will restart in January 2019. TRLF will then continue distributing solar lanterns to students studying in schools in Ndera and Salama location by mid January.

Onkolde Primary Students with their solar lanterns
Onkolde Primary Students with their solar lanterns
Demonstrating for Shirikisho Primary
Demonstrating for Shirikisho Primary
Miticharaka Primary Students with their lanterns
Miticharaka Primary Students with their lanterns
Road to Miticharaka Primary
Road to Miticharaka Primary
Few Students of Sera Primary Posing with Lanterns
Few Students of Sera Primary Posing with Lanterns

Thank you to all that gave generously on the Rewards Bonus Day that was on 18th July. We managed to raise $1,073.

Implementation of several projects including the distribution of solar lanterns to the most rural schools as many roads to the interior villages were completely cut off for over two months due to floods. In July 2018, we managed to visit Sera Primary School (latitude -2.124403, 40.123895) to meet and advise the Standard 7 pupils. In Kenya, the primary school education runs for eight years, from Standard One to Eight. The class has 17 children, who come from the various surrounding villages of Sera, Feji, Abaganda and Galima. Each child received a solar lantern to help them learn at their homesteads at night. 

Here are testimonials from two of the students, Omar and Habuko.

 “My name is Omar from Feji village. I am 13 years old and a class seven student in Sera Primary School. Today I received a solar Lamp from Tana River Life Foundation and I would like to thank all of you for assisting me with the solar lamp.

Without the lamp it was difficult for me to do night studies and complete my home work because at home were using the local traditional kerosene lamps. This made me to go a neighbour’s house where they have a solar to do my night studies. As I have got this this solar lamp I will do night studies comfortably at night in our own home.”

“My name is Habuko from Sera village. I am 14 years old and am in Standard Seven in Sera Primary School. My mother is a famer and my dad passed away two years ago.

After the death of my father, life in our family became more difficult because my mother had to act as a father also. We live in a small mud house and lack many basic needs at home. After school, I had to help my mother to look for firewood and also fetch water which made me have little time for my studies when there was still light. Now I will be able to help my mum and still do my studies at night using the solar lamp.”

The Headteacher of Sera Primary School, Mr. Emmanuel explained that his students have been facing the problem of not being able to study at night as most have no source of affordable and safe lighting like a solar lamp or electricity in their homes. This made him to start a boarding section of the Standard Seven and Eight from Mondays to Fridays. With these solar lamps, it will be easy for them to do night preps at their own homes during the weekends and the long school holidays as well. It also has a positive impact on their eyesight and safety in the homes.”

Thanks all for the continuous support as we target to reach more schools in the last term of the year.

Omar receiving lantern
Omar receiving lantern
Habuko and a classmate
Habuko and a classmate
The Headteacher Mr. Emmanuel and Students
The Headteacher Mr. Emmanuel and Students
Demonstrating to students on how the lantern works
Demonstrating to students on how the lantern works
Patricia studying at home
Patricia studying at home

Greetings all,

This quarter of the year we have been affected with floods where 70% of Tana River County  is being covered with water due to the current floods problem in the Country. Being in the Delta, we have been the most affected county.

However, we managed to get testimonials from Patricia and Ali as quoted below.

"My name is Patricia  from Vumbwe village. I am 15 years old. When I was still a student at Kulesa primary school last year I received a solar lamp from Tana River Life Foundation. I am taking this opportunity to say thank you to all of you for assisting me with the solar lamp.

Before I had the lamp, it was not easy for me to wake up in the morning for preps because there was no available source of light. It was difficult to use the lamp because of the cost of paraffin and it was a daily expense my family could not afford.

Besides providing more study hours, the solar lamp also helped my parents earn some income in charging our neighbours hand phones, which helped them pay for my exam fees. I did well in the primary school leaving exams last year and am now fully sponsored by Tana River Life Foundation in Form 1 (Year 9) in Sacred Heart Girls Secondary School in Mpeketoni, Kenya. 

Thank you all again.

Patricia John"

And Ali wrote

"I am Ali from Bubesa village in Mwina Location of Tana River County Kenya. My mother and brother are farmers. My father is mentally not well. I had many challenges when studying in primary school. We live in a small mud hut. Where we live, when it rains, our walls may be washed away and need to be repaired.

After school I have to help my mother look for firewood and fetch water and so have little time to do my homework until night time but there was no light at home. I continued with those challenges until by good fortune I received the solar lamp from Tana River Life Foundation. I was now able to do night preps and complete my homework. So even if I could not do my studies during the light time, but at night I was able to study without fail.

It also helped my parents as I was studying at night, the lamp allowed my mother to cook and do other things at home like weaving mats. After my primary school exams, I did not do as I expected, but the results was still good. I am now in Form 1 at Tarasaa High School and am partially sponsored by Tana River Life Foundation. I now know that in all hardship there will be relief. I want to be a lawyer to help my people know their right. Thank you all very much.


Ali completing his homework using solar lantern
Ali completing his homework using solar lantern
Bubesa Primary School Primary School National Exam
Bubesa Primary School Primary School National Exam

In 2017, Tana River Life Foundation embarked on a new project of providing Solar Lanterns for students from the most rural villages in the Tana Delta. This was to enable them to do their homework and revise their studies at night at home, as well as providing their entire household with extra “daylight” for productive work like weaving mats and tailoring.

We started with a community survey and selected three schools for the pilot project. The first beneficiaries were primary school students in their final year living in villages without access to electricity.

We recently re-visited the three primary schools to evaluate the impact of this assistance.

(a) Bubesa Primary School : 12 beneficiaries

At Bubesa, the solar lanterns had a tremendous impact on the performance of the students in the national exams last November. The graduating class emerged top for the first time in the Garsen North Zone which comprises of ten schools. The mean grade obtained by all the graduating students showed an improvement of 20.44%.  They performed best in Mathematics. All except one student progressed to secondary school in January this year.

The class teacher, Mr. Mohamed Omar Bona, organized the entire class into small study groups according to the location of their homes.  During the harvest season, when the students could not attend school regularly, the respective groups studied together at night on their farms with the solar lamps hanging from trees.


(b) Vumbwe Primary School : 17 beneficiaries

Students from Vumbwe showed a big improvement in the national examinations with an increased number of girls being placed in top National and County secondary schools in January this year.


( c ) Mwina Primary School : 21 beneficiaries

In Mwina, the parents organized local boarding where the students camped in school during term time, sleeping in classrooms. This enabled them study together at night. The students therefore only used the solar lamps during the weekends and school holidays. The impact was therefore limited, although the school still managed to get a student placed in the top ranked girls’ County secondary school for the first time in the past 3 years.


The project has had a tremendous impact on improving education opportunities for rural primary school children, especially if the program is well managed by the schools and parents. For 2018, we have obtained relevant data and statistics from the Ministry of Education for all the public primary schools in the Sub-County to map out our targeted areas for assistance. We hope that with continued support from willing partners, we will be able to Light up the Future of at least 200 students this year.

On behalf of all the students who benefited from this assistance last year, we thank each one of you who made the pilot project possible. 


Graduating Class of Bubesa Primary School
Graduating Class of Bubesa Primary School
Mohamed Ali first beneficiary of the Pilot Program
Mohamed Ali first beneficiary of the Pilot Program


Parents' Meeting at Asa


Thank you for your continuous support on the solar lantern project for students from rural villages in the Tana Delta of Kenya. With your support, we have to date been able to assist students from three schools in Garsen North, the majority of whom are children of subsistence farmers. We now plan to focus our attention on the Garsen West area, specifically Assa Location.

Assa is far flung and remote and not easily accessible during the rains. It is approximately 200km away from our office in Idsowe village. Most of the families are nomadic pastoralists, migrating seasonally according to the availability of pasture and grazing land for their stock of livestock.

We undertook a survey at Assa Primary School and identified deserving students who will receive their solar lanterns early next year. Lanterns were purchased just before the middle of last term but we could not proceed with the distribution then due to the rains which had partially cut off road access to the school for some time. Due to the national elections which followed shortly after and the ongoing national school leaving examinations, we have postponed the distribution of the lanterns to January 2018.

With your continued support, we will continue to assist students from remote and far flung villages off the national power grid. Thank you once again for helping us light up the future of many young people from Tana Delta.


Be blessed.

Solar Lamps for Assa
Solar Lamps for Assa



About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Tana River Life Foundation

Location: Tana River County, Mombassa - Kenya
Website: http:/​/​​
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Iris Tay
Tana River County, Mombassa Kenya
* This project is competing for bonus prizes
through the 2018 Year-End Campaign. Terms and conditions apply.

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence


Woman Holding a Gift Card
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.