Making children’s lives better in the third world is something we can all get behind with the latest initiative from IKEA. For every one of their SUNNAN solar-powered lamps sold at IKEA stores worldwide, one equivalent lamp will be given to UNICEF to light up the life of a child. These stylish and colourful solar-powered lamps will allow children in disadvantaged countries and where they may not even have electricity, to read, write and study at night as well as play after the sun goes down. “Millions of children can’t draw, write or read after sunset, limiting their horizons and possibly their futures,” said Marianne Barner, head of IKEA Social Initiative. “We hope our lamps are a small but important contribution to improving the lives of children in developing countries. Girls especially are often required to help out with household chores after school, and their only chance of doing their homework may be at night,” she said. “SUNNAN can make a huge difference to them. If they can keep up with the homework, their school attendance will likely increase and their achievements improve.” IKEA has made an extra sturdy version of SUNNAN for the developing world, designed to resist the wear and tear of difficult living situations, including a battery capable of withstanding high temperatures. The first shipments of solar lamps are destined for Pakistan, helping children in camps for people who recently had to flee their homes and remote villages in the earthquake-affected regions of Balochistan and the North West Frontier province. The energy-saving lamp is the first solar cell work lamp from IKEA and provides efficient work lighting at home without the need for cables, cords or electricity. All it needs is a bit of sunshine now and then. It is equipped with a rechargeable solar cell panel, situated on the lamp stand, which transforms sunlight to electrical energy. Fully charged, the batteries provide the LED light source with enough energy to make it run for three to four hours. LED consumes 70 percent less energy and has at least four times longer life than incandescent bulbs in similar lighting. Recharging the panel is easy. You simply detach it from the lamp base, place it outside facing the sky, and wait. Under perfect conditions with direct sunlight and no cloud, the charging will take approximately nine hours. On days with less than perfect conditions, the panel may require around 12 hours to be fully charged. You can find out more about IKEA and its Social Initiative at www.IKEA.com.au Now that’s something to feel sunny about.
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