Similar to d.light, Nuru is a social enterprise working in Rwanda to alleviate poverty as well as create safe living conditions. By eliminating dangerous kerosene lamps and replacing them with affordable LED lights, Nuru helps to create an environment that is apt for young girls and boys to study past sunset and up their social capital.
According to the Orange County Register, 90% of rural households in Rwanda aren't connected to an electrical grid, and thus, the majority of people light their homes using kerosene lanterns. Kerosene, as known, is dangerous, expensive and unhealthy -- but for most there's no alternative.
One of Nuru's founders, Julio De Souza, had a career path that crossed a similar trajectory to many UN employees or others working in large development organizations: he felt that he couldn't make a significant change because of the bureaucratic constraints. His work with Nuru -- which he started with the help of four friends and a 200,000$ grant from the World Bank -- allows him to confront obstacles on-the-ground while working toward both environmental and social goals.
As opposed to simply donating Nuru lights, or selling them at a low cost, Nuru hires local entrepreneurs to distribute the LED lights so they can earn a stable income while at the same time eliminating the dangers of kerosene in their communities.
"This idea of the Westerner coming to save the poor African is very misleading," Nuru's De Souza told the Orange County Register. "If you really want to help African countries it's really by creating responsible businesses, giving people the opportunity to sell products to their community."
70 Normandy Blvd
Photo Credits: Adam Bacher, John Briggs, Nuru Energy