The Pokot people live without electricity, cars, or running water. And this causes some big challenges. Many Pokot sell a cow to buy a cell phone so they can call the police or nearest hospital when some is ill or they have been attacked by a neighboring tribe. But batteries only last so long, and with no where to recharge, many people die in their huts when a little power could have saved their lives.
Well, a few college students are trying to solve this problem. David Smith grew up attending Daylight’s partner church, Lynnhurst Congregationalist. He is now a college student attending Iowa State University enrolled in a sophomore design class for mechanical engineers. The purpose of the course is to design a device that will improve the quality of life of people in a third world country.
David’s team chose the Pokot people of Kenya as their focus and are using Daylight as a primary resource. They are hoping to design a small power-generating device that will bring cheap and reliable electricity to the nomadic people.
Thanks for your exciting work!
Daylight US Director
A lyrical reflection from U of M student Megan Knuteson about her two weeks at Daylight:
The main thing I took from my trip was the “these are people” realization. There’s the taught perception of something foreign, something other, about Africans especially. You know, the “there are starving children in Africa” line.
When I spent two weeks at Daylight, they became people.
They may have a cooking shack because they don’t have a kitchen, but they still ruminate on arguments relatives are having, or how the car broke down last week, or how we’re almost out of matches.
And teens still sit and talk about school and girlfriends and boyfriends, and elementary schoolers still kick a soccer ball around without actually organizing a game of soccer, and toddlers still push each other over just to see how much it takes to make their sibling cry.
And I found out
that despite the language
and despite the skin color
and despite the lack of internet access
and despite the street and sidewalks that are just orange-brown dirt with a metric ton of litter
and despite the open-air markets
and despite the ten million little shops that each sell only like eight different items
And their blood is still red,
and they still get pissed when their sisters have abusive boyfriends,
and they still have trouble paying for school,
and there are still people who love to or hate to or can’t read,
and there are still restaurants that are just too expensive,
and there are still kids who
they’re not going to get.
Just like in America.
And there’s still the feeling of Are you kidding me, it’s morning and I’m dead tired, I shouldn’t have stayed up so late last night.
Last year the children of Edina Morningside church collected funds during Lent for 2 Daylight cows. Now, 1 year later (Monday, April 1st), one of the cows had a bouncing baby boy!
My youngest son Joshua has really found a friend in this calf. He follows it around everywhere. And everyone here is also excited. This is truly a great Easter gift, so thank you, Edina Morningside! For a gift that keeps giving!
Secondly, we have POWER! Yes, finally, the Kenya Power Company has finally dropped electricity lines at Daylight. We paid for it in September, but that’s how it is here. Things in Kenya move slowly. We are excited to have light!
Thanks for your prayer and we are excited as ever here.
Daylight Center and School