South Sudan

Light and hope in South Sudan

May 2015

The world’s newest nation, South Sudan, is a place eager for new knowledge and new hope.

Olivier Laboulle brought much-needed Little Sun lamps to South Sudan’s capital Juba, and he has shared his inspiring experiences with us here.

Hello Friends of Little Sun!

My name is Olivier Laboulle and, after working for two years with a local environmental NGO in South Sudan, I was happy to go back to the capital city, Juba, as a consultant exploring market opportunities for Little Sun.

As the newest country in the world, which gained its independence from Sudan in 2011 after a long civil war, South Sudan was born in hope. With rich oil reserves, fertile land, stunning mountain ranges and the second-largest wildlife migration in the world, the future looked bright. But tragically the potential has been drowned out by war once again as two factions are fighting over power and oil revenues, spending too much on weapons and too little on power plants. I was shocked to see that people still depend on generators and kerosene lamps for light, even in the country’s capital. People literally gathered around me when I started talking about free solar light!

With just 4% of young people in secondary school, the country is poor in education but rich in optimism. South Sudanese children are eager to go to school, learn to read and write and be allowed to hope for a better future. I felt Little Sun could help with that and so took the lamps to Juba’s one and only bookshop, to ask the owner to sell the solar lamps along with the books. I left ten lamps with the shop manager, Yohannis, in the morning and he was calling by the end of the day: “Sold out!” The word was out among Juba University students and 10 hours of free light was something everyone wanted in on. Yohannis set up his standing order.

Education is the light that young South Sudanese search for at the end of the tunnel. Little Sun lamps are brightening that path with a little light, and a lot of hope.