One of the first songs that I remember learning as a child was, “This Little Light Of Mine”. My grandmother would sing it to me over and over; she still sings it to my son. What does this song really mean? As a Christian, I am called to let my light shine all over the world around me. We are taught to guide people toward the light, figuratively and literally. What if you could help others find the light?
It is in the nature of light to illuminate, to brighten, to reveal things that were previously hidden to us; it helps us to see and understand things that were once hidden by darkness. We are taught that a shining city on a hill can’t be hid–that a light should be put on a candlestick so that it can shine and be seen rather than hidden under a basket and kept to ourselves.
Did you know that there is a part of the world we live in that is still hidden by darkness? In sub-Saharan Africa only 3 people in 10 have access to electricity, leaving nearly 600 million people in the dark. Children who don’t have electricity at home, often don’t have electricity at school either; one third of the primary schools in the area don’t have access to electricity. Families are still cooking over open flames, exposing them to harmful chemicals and smoke. Nearly four million deaths a year are attributed to a lack of clean cookstoves. Women are having to give birth in the dark because 30% of health centers don’t have electricity, and they don’t have electricity at home; this means even the most minor child birth complications could be lethal to mother or child. Lack of electricity also poses a threat to safety.
The Electrify Africa Act of 2015 would prioritize and coordinate U.S. government resources in sub-Saharan Africa by 2020 to:
- Promote first-time access to electricity for at least 50 million people, particularly the poor.
- Encourage the installation of at least an additional 20,000 megawatts of electrical power in both rural and urban areas using a broad mix of energy options.
- Encourage in-country reforms to facilitate public-private partnerships and increase transparency in power production, distribution, and pricing.
- Promote efficient institutional platforms that provide electrical service to rural and underserved areas.
What if you could help do something about it? You can help others find the light by signing the petition to help Electrify Africa. Funding for this bill wouldn’t cost American taxpayers anything additional, and it could help bring light to nearly 50 million people. It’s very simple, you can pledge your support in the widget below. You can also encourage your friends and family to sign the petition, and pledge their support.
Check out the hashtags #LightForLight and #ElectrifyAfrica to read why others support Electrify Africa.