May 28, 2017

Jaguar Land Rover lights up one million lives in Kenya

  • Jaguar Land Rover announces ‘Lighting up Lives’ collaboration with sustainability experts ClimateCare to bring safe and clean light to 1.2 million people in East Africa
  • Collaboration commits to empowering communities with affordable technology that changes lives, giving families up to four hours more light each evening and replacing hazardous kerosene fuel  
  • Project showcased at Hay Festival this week with immersive storytelling sessions designed for children and their families
  • Festival guests will enjoy one-of-a-kind ‘Night Time Sun’ art installation designed to showcase the power of the sun to transform lives

Hay-on-Wye, Wales, UK:  Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and ClimateCare today announced a partnership to bring clean solar technology to off-grid communities in Kenya. This innovative social impact programme called ’Lighting up Lives’ supports children like 14-year old Franklin Kishsta, a pupil at Kasooni School, Kalawa, Kenya. Franklin is just one of more than one million people living in isolated or off-grid communities who will benefit from the programme. “I finish all of my homework now,” said the boy who dreams of becoming an engineer one day; “before, I could not do it at home when it was dark. I know my parents are much happier now, and so am I”. 

The Lighting up Lives programme helps children in Kenya to read and study after dark. Damaris Kishsta: 'They (the solar lights) have improved the standard of our life…' Her son Franklin, aged 14: 'I finish all my homework now. Before I could not do it at home when it was dark… I want to become an engineer – I feel that is possible now'

Using kerosene light creates hazardous indoor pollutants, one of the biggest causes of premature deaths in Africa. JLR believes that renewable solar technology offers an affordable alternative. Education improves as children like Franklin can study, read and stay up to play after dark. Women enjoy greater opportunities to work and learn. Living conditions in homes are healthier and safer, and incomes improve.

Helen McLintock, director, JLR, said, “This exciting new venture is exactly the type of programme that Jaguar Land Rover wants to lead on in the future. Using technology for good and supporting the power of engineering to improve lives and help to build a cleaner future. Our purpose is to make responsible business relevant to everyone. By sharing our skills, our technology, our people and our passions we can make a difference to people's lives and prosperity”.

Edward Hanrahan, ClimateCare CEO, said, “We are focused on helping corporates take responsibility for solving key global challenges through the delivery of integrated sustainability programmes with robust and measurable outcomes that benefit the world’s poorest communities, and deliver against the UN’s Global Goals. We believe businesses have a vital role to play in supporting the Global Goals and Jaguar Land Rover is an excellent example of the contribution corporates can make.”

Lighting up Lives is particularly relevant to JLR’s own operations and commitment to a zero-emissions future. It recently announced a move to 100 percent renewable electricity for its UK facilities and has installed UK’s largest rooftop solar array at its engine manufacturing centre in the West Midlands. It fits with an ambition to drive sustainable, innovative growth not just for the business but for communities around the world, including Kalawa, Kenya.

The Storytelling Nook

At this year’s Hay Festival, JLR has created the Storytelling Nook – a unique storytelling venue where the company and ClimateCare are running daily immersive sessions for children to learn about Lighting up Lives, including video, sound and storytelling from Kenya to show the transformative impact of solar power in rural communities.

Guest storytellers will include:

  • Veronica Lamond, author of illustrated children’s stories about Landy and Fender the lovable land rovers
  • Aunty Kiko, award-winning playwright and Kenyan children’s author 
  • Celebrated British polar explorer Ben Saunders who will talk about the importance of solar in his 2013-14 expedition and share a reading of his upcoming Ladybird book, Shackleton
  • Three Science of Solar sessions will also be held on Wednesday, May 31. Aimed at children aged 8 to 14, the sessions have been designed in collaboration with solar expert Chris Jardine from Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute.

Lighting up Lives: Solar Technology Programme in Kenya

When: Every day, Saturday, May 27 – Saturday, June 3, 2017 at 10am
Ben Saunders Storytelling – Saturday May 27, 4pm

Lighting up Lives: Science of Solar Workshop

When: Wednesday, May 31, 2017, at 11.30am, 1pm, 2.30pm

Night Time Sun

As a visual celebration of the sun for Hay Festival goers, JLR has commissioned a unique art installation illustrating the power of the sun to transform lives. Night Time Sun is an ambitious installation designed to cast its light over festival goers as the sun sets each night.