American Morning

Tune in at 6am Eastern for all the news you need to start your day.
May 7th, 2010
07:00 AM ET

'Saving lives' with solar-powered lights

Nairobi, Kenya (CNN) - The villagers' faces light up as Evans Wadongo arrives. Men, women and children sing and gather around as he shows how his invention - a solar-powered LED lantern - will soon light up their homes.

"These families, they are so poor. They don't have electricity," said Wadongo, a native of rural Kenya. "It's only kerosene and firewood that they use for lighting, cooking.

"The amount of money that every household uses to buy kerosene every day - if they can just save that money, they can be able to buy food."

Wadongo, 23, not only is giving his country's rural families a way to replace the smoky kerosene and firelight with solar power, he says he also hopes his invention will ultimately improve education and reduce poverty and hunger. And he's providing it for free.

Do you know a hero? Nominations are open for 2010 CNN Heroes


Filed under: CNN Heroes
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Alyssa Thompson

    Led lights are great because they are long lasting and consumes less electricity.'`"

    May 11, 2010 at 1:02 pm |
  2. Beth Jetton

    Two thumbs up!! : D

    May 8, 2010 at 11:29 pm |
  3. john doe

    Yes!!! He is a true hero!!! He took his disability and turned into his passion!!! We all need to follow his footsteps!!! Great job!!! Good man!!! USA is the way!!!

    May 8, 2010 at 9:15 pm |
  4. Scottish Mama

    Good Job Mr. Wadongo! In africa where there is the cutting down of trees and habitat for wildlife can someone also with a brilliant mind do a solar cooking stove?

    May 7, 2010 at 4:10 pm |
  5. Dewayne

    I think what this young man has done is VERY cool & very unselfish! He gave a little to help a lot. WAY TO GO!!!

    May 7, 2010 at 11:40 am |
  6. Margaret

    Is there a way to help Evans Wadongo financially with his quest? He's doing such a wonderful thing...but is sacrificing so much himself.

    May 7, 2010 at 9:05 am |
  7. Roydel Rutty

    Evans should definately be nominated as a hero. He is helipnnng to improve his community, his country and eventually the world. There are a lot of homes in the caribbean where I am from that still do not have electricith. Imagine he is doing this for free. We need more people like him in this world. I wish there was a way I could help him.

    May 7, 2010 at 9:02 am |