Originally published on Sustainnovate.
By Henry Lindon
The first VELUX Natural Light lamps have begun arriving in Africa — roughly one year after the company launched a design competition based around the idea, with the support of Little Sun and NGO Plan International.
The design competition was a rather successful one — with 172 proposals, from 65 different countries — so it shouldn’t be surprising things have been moving relatively fast. The VELUX Natural Light International Design Competition was decided via a high-level jury of experts in the fields of architecture, art, and design. The winning design was the proposal from Mariana Arando and Luca Fondello of the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
As noted in a recent press release, the VELUX Group has, to date, produced and donated 14,500 of the new solar-powered lamps — as well as trained 150 local sales agents, who will be aiming to sell the lamps in off-grid communities in Senegal, Zimbabwe, and Zambia.
The sales persons training was reportedly rather intensive — combining demonstrations, role-play, workshops, and other group work.
“The first business training was very successful. It was well-attended and the future sales agents had a high interest in the product, convinced that the lamps would sell well. The agents were able to see that the Natural Light lamp can save their customers money. After two months of use, customers already save money compared to what they would spend on kerosene lamps. Having solar lamps means being independent from the electrical grid,” stated Edius N Makono, Alight Zimbabwe Trust (Plan Zimbabwe Alumni).