Solar for 450 Teachers

Finance 450 Sun King Pros so teachers can teach and prepare lessons at night



SunFunder kicks off its partnership with Global Cycle Solutions with a project that will help finance 450 units of Sun King Pro to bring solar lighting and mobile phone charging to teachers in Arusha, Manyara, and Morogoro regions of Tanzania. This $10,000 loan will create the following projected impact:





Because households are scattered and villages are far from each other, electrification has been slow in rural Tanzania. Only 2% of rural Tanzanians have access to electricity, and an overwhelming majority relies on paraffin for lighting. This forces the country's poor to spend $715 million per year on hazardous kerosene for lighting, which in addition to being an economic burden leads to health problems and pollution.  

Teachers in Arusha, Manyara, and Morogoro often have inadequate lighting to prepare lessons, grade papers, and read at night. As they live in remote villages, they spend $2-$2.50 per week on kerosene for lighting fuel and phone charging. These energy-related costs add up to 6-8% of their income, which is about $100-$120/month. At this income level, it is difficult to afford a solar light and mobile phone charger with cash payment up-front. By offering teachers a simple credit plan of half down payment, and the other half on next pay day (usually 3-6 weeks later), quality solar lighting suddenly becomes very accessible on their income level.

Upon signing up for credit, the teachers are trained in the use of the light. Ongoing maintenance of the product is supported by Global Cycle Solutions' main office and their Rafiki (which means 'friend' in Swahili) sales agent network, where all Rafiki are already trained in basic business skills and product maintenance. Global Cycle Solutions will also follow up with all schools every two weeks to identify any new demand.

With a Sun King Pro, teachers will not only be able to perform their jobs better, but also provide neighbors with cell phone charging services as well as do evening lessons with students if needed. Because teachers are community connectors, they will create more indirect impact with solar.




The Sun King Pro defines the industry's gold standard in affordable solar-powered lanterns with mobile-phone charging capability.

  • 10 times brighter than a kerosene lamp
  • 30 hours of light on one day’s charge
  • 5 years of battery life
  • Charges mobile phones

100% Funded

By 139 People

$0 to go

out of $10,000 Target

This project is fully funded!


Global Cycle Solutions is a social enterprise working to develop and disseminate affordable, quality technology for villagers around the world. Its mission is to create access to transformative technologies that respond to unmet needs in rural Tanzania. Its subsidiary, GCS Tanzania Limited, is building a distribution network of local entrepreneurs who teach, introduce, and sell high-impact technologies to villagers in the most remote of places.


Loan term: 12 months

Repayment schedule: every 3 months

Interest rate: principai repayments only

Impact points: equivalent to 3.5% annual interest rate


Repayment Date Status
1 April 2014 Repaid
2 July 2014 Repaid
3 September 2014 Repaid
4 December 2014 Repaid


Arusha, Manyara and Morogoro combined have a total population of 5.3 million people, representing 10% of Tanzania's population. In the 2001 census, only 2% of Arusha's population had access to electricity and 0% in Morogoro. To date, GCS has successfully financed over 500 teachers in these regions, but aims to reach 10,000 teachers across 60 wards.