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2010

Taichung City District Food Bank Program - Update

There are many disadvantaged families in the city of Taichung that are suffering from unemployment due to the recent global economic crisis and its ongoing effects. The food bank program assists these families in distribution food to those in need to better cope in their day to day life. The program run by the Taichung City Government also intends to increase awareness of food conservation because of the raising worldwide food insecurities relating to market speculation and unforeseen weather patterns that are strongly interlinked with global warming effects. Through the establishment of the food bank a sense of care and compassion among members of the public shall be built and it is expected to promote the morale of sharing, helping and cherishing one another within the community.

The Food Bank then will consist of a central storage facility to hold all the resources of food and five separate distribution stations according to city districts to distribute food. Local charitable organizations will provide the place and manpower to distribute the resources to the needy. The program carefully chooses the indigent families via a scoring system to ensure the correct people are reached. The Aurora Light Foundation strongly believes in the set up and the success of this program and this September has committed a donation that is to be distributed over one year to accompany and support the initiative.

As a result of the donation made to the Food Bank Program in Taichung, Taiwan our Asian representative returned to four distribution locations where she met with volunteers preparing approximately 1,000 bags of supplies ready for distribution that day. Each bag included dry noodles, uncooked rice, cooking oil, soy sauce, soy milk, milk powder, canned vegetables, various fast food sauce mixes and feminine hygiene products. Each household would normally comprise 2-4 people, and would be eligible to return once per quarter.

Pangea Network - Update

Kunya – Guardian Chicken Coop
We are pleased to announce that a representative from the Pangea Network visited Kunya in September and has reported that the training is progressing very well. The Guardians are currently focusing on the practical aspects such as how to feed the chickens, cleaning the coop and administering vaccinations. The representative said that they are taking turns in the maintenance and are setting up a ‘maternity wing’ and are keeping a close watch until the eggs hatch safely. The women are all extremely happy and motivated by the training they have received.

Kibera Co-operative
As a result of the donation, each and every member of the co-operative has benefited. Checks have revealed that not only are their businesses booming, the women are looking healthier and brighter too.

In order to encourage continued bonding, the women have decided to donate a kilo of sugar to the woman who hosts their weekly meeting. This is carried out on a rotational basis, so that each woman has an opportunity to host. The women are exploring new opportunities to increase income and make their co-operative more financially stable. They have come up with a goal that by 2105 each and every member should own a structure where they stay. Their ultimate wish is to be landladies instead of tenants.

Aurora Light Foundation & Taichung Food Bank Donation

The Aurora Light Foundation is thrilled to announce its most recent donation to the Taichung Ta-tun Food Bank

Founder, Andrew Johnson, presented US$40,000 to the Taichung Ta-tun Food Bank on Monday, a donation that will help approximately 4,000 households in central Taiwan, according to the food bank's founder. It was the first donation ever received by the food bank from overseas, said the Department of Social Affairs of the Taichung City Government, which established the organization in 2009 to aid the poor and needy.

Visit Focus Taiwan News Channel @ http://bit.ly/d0nyQQ for more information.

The Aurora Light Foundation & The Pagnea Network

The Aurora Light Foundation is proud to announce its latest donation.

The Pangea Network, “Empowering Women, Transforming Lives” (www.thepangeanetwork.org).

Whilst attending the Lighting Africa Conference in Nairobi , Kenya, (www.lightingafrica.org) we had an opportunity, with the collaboration of BoGo Lighting (www.bogolight.com) and The Pangea Network, to visit one of the largest slums in Africa - Kibera.

We were so impressed with the work that Dorothy Omgajo (an experienced human rights attorney and community organiser) and her dedicated team were doing, that with further financial assistance we felt more women would benefit from their educational program. This program includes leadership, rights awareness, basic health training, along with microenterprise training in an area of her interest and skill base, ultimately raising her social and economic empowerment to a new level (www.thepangeanetwork.org/how-we-do-it.php).

In addition to this program, we heard of their Guardian Chicken Coop Project in Kunya (www.thepangeanetwork.org/guardian-project.php).

"Early this year, the women in Kunya had major setbacks. The drought in Kenya drove monkeys from the highlands into the village, pillaging and destroying all the crops. Floods on the far shores of Lake Victoria caused the shoreline to rise and envelop the newly built fish pond. Disease struck their chickens, taking the remaining fruits of their labor. Starvation was a real possibility for the women and the children.

If they could band together, they could create a chicken coop which would be the responsibility of the entire cooperative. They would all be trained to clean, feed and raise the chickens and share in the work and the profits. By coming together, they could minimize the risk of failure and feed their families."

In order to make this project operative, they needed financial assistance to provide the chickens and a training program for the women. We are proud to announce that with our remaining donation this is now possible.

Lighting Africa Business Conference & Trade Fair 2010

The Aurora Light Foundation attended the Lighting Africa Conference 2010 in Nairobi, Kenya held 18-20th May. Our objective was to achieve a much greater understanding of off-grid consumer friendly product availability as well as understand the both the technical and distribution challenges this market faces. This being the only the second conference of its kind, it still saw more than 600 participants and 50 exhibitors from all corners of the world. There were numerous opportunities to network with key stakeholders at local, regional and international levels. Delegates across the supply chain (manufacturers, assemblers, distributors and importers), financial institutions, NGOs (non-governments organizations), government ministers and research institutions.

We were fortunate enough to meet with a local Kenyan entrepreneur by the name of Evans M. Wadongo (CNN Hero) www.sustainabledevelopmentforall.org who is manufacturing (with local workers) and distributing solar lanterns to the villages in remote rural areas. He is currently looking for financial support to fund his next project to bring solar in order to save lives by improving livelihoods in poor fishing communities.

Courtesy of our contact in Barclays Bank Nairobi; Regina Gichuhi-Mwangi, Community Relations Manager, we had an opportunity to visit a local school with limited lighting facilities in order to ascertain the challenges they face on a daily basis with almost no lighting available to them, due mainly to the high cost of electricity, and their limited budget which is funded by the Government.

With close collaboration between Mark Bent of SunLight Solar/BoGo Lighting www.sunnightsolar.com and Nicole Minor of Pangea Network www.thepangeanetwork.org we had an extremely fortunate opportunity to go into Kibera. It is the largest of Nairobi's slums and the second largest urban slum in Africa with a population estimated at between 600,000 and 1.5 million inhabitants, depending on the season. It is a little smaller than Central Park in New York City, but is home to more than a million people -- most of whom lack electricity and running water. The slum is located roughly 5 kilometres (3 miles) southwest of the city centre of Nairobi. Encompassing an area of 2.5 square kilometres (0.965 square miles), Kibera accounts for less than 1% of Nairobi's total area, but holds more than a quarter of its population, at an estimated density of 2000 persons per hectare (1250 per acre). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kibera

We had an exclusive opportunity to walk and talk with some of the women participating in the Pangea Program who had also received hand held lights from BoGo Lighting. This was an extremely humbling experience and we have total admiration for the bravery and unabated resilience these women possess under such extreme circumstances.

This was a truly life changing experience and has only reinforced our belief that light is a fundamental human need and should be available to all!

Feel free to contact marilyn@aurora.us.com

Visit Lightingafrica.org for news and updates

Donation to SunNight Solar in Haiti

The Aurora Light Foundation is pleased to announce its first donation to SunNight Solar, the manufacturers of the BoGo Light. SunNight Solar, the producers of the Bogo Light have been very active on the ground in Haiti, since the Earthquake in January 2010.

Personal donatins are possible at Bogolight.com.

Visit lighthaiti.org for news about lighting up Haiti.

Medecins Sans Frontieres, Switzerland

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international humanitarian aid organisation that provides emergency medical assistance to populations in danger in more than 70 countries.

Visit msf.org