WakaWaka develops, manufactures and markets high-tech low

WakaWaka develops, manufactures and markets high-tech low-cost portable solar
powered products. Literally lifesavers both in the developing world and in
developed markets. We are a 'Social Enterprise': a business with an impact driven
mission. Over 1.2 billion people still have no access to electricity. This has a
critical, large-scale effect on health, education, and economic development,
especially in remote regions, disaster-struck, or war-torn areas.
WakaWaka is in the business of saving lives. We believe that everyone, regardless
of age, position, or predicament, has the ability to be an agent of light that can
spark positive change.
Sounds great doesn’t it? But where did we start? How did we get here? With my
partner Maurits Groen we founded WakaWaka with the sole purpose to ensure
no one has to live in the dark any longer. We aim to achieve our goal of
brightening the lives of 1.2 billion people before 2030. It may sound like an
impossible goal, but we take this ambition very serious!
In 2012 the first WakaWaka Lights were sent to our first Kickstarter Backers, check
out the project here. This led to lighting up the lives of 800 school children in
Tanzania. Less than a year later we introduced the WakaWaka Power, a solar
powered phone charger & light. Right when we were ready to ship out to our
5,622 backers (check out the campaign here), the International Rescue
Committee asked us whether we could send our first batch to Syrian refugees
You will understand we could not refuse this. I am proud to state that not a
single backer complained about this. Today, the WakaWaka Power is the most
valued non-food item in Syrian refugee camps.
Thanks to that Kickstarter project we were also able to donate 12,000 WakaWaka
Lights to Haitian families still living in shelters after the 2010 earthquake.
That's 60,000 people no longer at risk from kerosene accidents which in the past
led to lifelong mutilations. They save up to 20% of their expenses now, which
does not need to be spent on expensive lighting fuels. We did not just give them
away though. They were ‘free, but not for nothing’. Through some 13 different
NGO’s the WakaWakas were distributed and the recipients did all sorts of things
in return. One village with a few hundred people cleaned up the streets for the
very first time since the earthquake, another project planted 50,000 additional
trees in exchange for their WakaWakas, so there’s a WakaWaka forest growing in
Haiti now!
12,000 WakaWakas went to the people of Haiti
We keep track of every WakaWaka project that takes place off-the-grid on our
Impact Map. I am so incredibly proud to be able to tell you we have well over
100 projects on the map now. Check it out and zoom in to see pictures, sometimes
a video and more details on the impact of light on the lives of people around the
The Impact Map: WakaWakas in developing countries