Lights for Kenya Project


Makerspace Forsyth has taken on the goal to provide solar powered lanterns to 20 orphans in the village of Bungoma in Kenya.  These lanterns are intended to be a safer, healthier alternative to the more commonly used kerosene lanterns that children often use for reading and doing schoolwork at night. There are obvious hazards to using kerosene.  One such hazard is kerosene is a combustible liquid that increases fire risk making the lanterns dangerous to handle.  Another hazard is health related as the burning lamps produce a nasty, black soot that is breathed in by the child potentially causing respiratory problems long term.

These solar powered lanterns would represent an improvement in the quality of life of the children of Bungoma potentially having a long, lasting effect on them and their families.  Though there are solar powered lanterns and other lighting devices out there already, our goal is to not only provide a healthier, safer source of light at night, but to also create a connection between our communities.


The initial build would be for 20 lights.  We will be hacking solar powered walkway lights turning them into usable lanterns.  The project entails upgrading the LEDs, adding handles and a stable base.

The design has been finalized and we will set up a build session soon.  The goal is to have the 20 lanterns ready by the first week of February. There may be a second session to create kits out of them and pack them in preparation for the flight to Kenya on the 15th of February.  The idea is to break them down and pack them in such a way as to occupy the least amount of space on the plane and give the children there the opportunity to do the final assembly of their very own lantern.

How YOU Can Get Involved


Contribution Type
Single Lantern Kit


Buy a lantern kit for yourself and we will send one to Kenya.  If you pay for one of these you automatically get a seat at the table for the build session.


Sold Out
If you want to support the project with a monetary contribution pick this one.

Any amount you give will help.

Join the Hacking Crew:

The mechanical part of the build is done, but we still have to solder all the LEDs in.  If you want to get a learn to solder or would like to get in a little practice, here’s your chance.  The next build session will likely happen on 02/10/17.

Volunteer Information Form
No experience necessary.  We'll have mentors there to help every step of the way.  We'll be drilling, soldering, knotting string, you name it.  It's a great opportunity for you to learn some new skills while you'r helping someone in another part of the world.
What days and times would work best for you? Select all that apply. We'll use this as a guide for setting the date and time of the build session.
I, the undersigned, do hereby consent and agree that MsF, its mentors, or agents have the right to take photographs, videotape, or digital recordings of me or my child during makerspace activities and to use these in any and all media, now or hereafter known, and exclusively for the purpose of MsF. I do hereby release to MsF all rights to exhibit this work in print and electronic form publicly or privately strictly for marketing or communications purposes. I waive any rights, claims, or interest I may have to control the use of my identity or likeness in whatever media used. I understand that there will be no financial or other remuneration for recording me, either for initial or subsequent uses. I also understand that MsF is not responsible for any expense or liability incurred as a result of my participation in this recording, including medical expenses due to any sickness or injury incurred as a result.

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