As we are sitting down drinking sweet tea we suddenly hear the sounds of shooting nearby. I notice a glowing fear in the eyes of Abu Nour, who just fled from Der’aa. Sounds of war in Syria, so close by. I hand him a WakaWaka Power. It immediately spreads its light. We attach it to a water bottle. The atmosphere radiating from this sustainable light strikes me. We share stories and in the mean time Abu Nour’s mobile happily recharges. The children gather spontaneously around the lamp. It is like a school moment of concentrated drawing, reading and sharing coloring pencils.
When I pass by a few days later, Abu Nour says: ‘It is great to have this lamp. There was a powercut yesterday but we had light. It also saves us $35 a month for buying electricity. Now we have always safe light for free and I can phone my family in Syria.’
The WakaWaka provides very practical help in times of humanitarian catastrophy. Indeed, it is a marked and practical example of what Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Frans Timmermans, was arguing for: ‘In this pitch black scenario in Syria we have the moral obligation to keep looking for spots of light…’ WakaWaka, a modern Aladdin.
Abu Nour from Deraa
Esseline van de Sande