Solar Makers is a project by Butterfly Works, a social design studio and aims to improve peoples lives through sharing knowledge about a technology that can save money, provide a safer living environment and lead to a more sustainable future.
In Africa, an estimated 500 million people (2010) have no access to electricity. Working, reading and cooking is done by light sources as kerosene. This fuel is expensive, dangerous and unhealthy. It is a product with serious consequences. An alternative is solar energy. Sunlight is sufficiently available and would provide a cheap and additionally lasting solution to the above problem. The reality is however that only a few people are familiar with the technique, and it therefore, it is hardly ever used.
Solar Makers project contributes to the development of individual creativity and awareness of solar energy, using a toolkit to build a solar light. The toolkit contains: a solar panel, a battery, LEDs, wires, a switch and instructions.
In the summer of 2010, during the Maker Fair Africa, 4 workshops were organized to share the importance of alternative energy applications and the technology behind solar energy with 80 Kenyan youth.
Using this toolkit one learns in a concrete way how solar technology works and how one can build something immediately. The toolkit encourages young people to be creative with solar energy.