SolarAid is an international charity that aims to combat poverty and climate change by providing access to solar lights in remote regions of Sub-Saharan Africa. The charity estimates that approximately 598 million people in Africa alone do not have access to electricity, and therefore access to a clean source of light. As a result, millions rely on kerosene lamps, which are hazardous, inefficient, and expensive. SolarAid aims to provide families with affordable solar lamps, to replace homemade lamps.

OUP has been supporting SolarAid for many years through our English Language Teaching (ELT) Division. The division runs a staff recognition programme—The Spark Awards—to celebrate employees for their hard work and commitment. For each winner, £40 is donated to SolarAid and in our last financial year, OUP donated around £1,700 to the cause.

Peter Marshall, Managing Director of OUP’s English Language Teaching division said: We chose SolarAid as our charitable partner for the ELT Spark Awards because we recognized that providing efficient, affordable lighting can have a significant impact on young people’s education, by enabling them to continue learning after dark. SolarAid is a remarkable organization, and it shares our commitment to supporting learning worldwide.

Since our partnership began, we have enabled SolarAid to distribute more than 2,230 solar lights. These lights have had a positive impact on around 12,500 lives and facilitated 2,343,305 additional study hours. Our support has also resulted in 2,472 less tonnes of CO2 in the atmosphere.

Speaking about the support OUP has provided, John Keane, CEO of SolarAid said: ‘We are truly thankful to OUP for our partnership and the support you give us to help bring light and power to those who need it most. To those living without access to electricity. To those living in poverty. To those who now have access to solar light to continue their education after dark. I believe that every single member of OUP staff should be incredibly proud to work for a company which supports this work in the way that it does.’

We are now looking for opportunities to expand our partnership across OUP even further, by providing opportunities for employees to volunteer with SolarAid virtually.

Find out more about Solar Aid.

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