Today we announced that the d.light S250 will be reaching BOP families in Afghanistan through a partnership with Sustainable Energy Services Afghanistan (SESA) and the U.S. Marines. The Marines will be distributing our lamps to 7,000 households in Helmand Province through local schools and mosques.

These are stories that greatly encourage me, because d.light products are reaching exactly the type of households they were designed to reach.

For obvious reasons, Afghanistan is an extremely tough market for companies, but the need for high-quality and relevant products is one of the highest in the world. The UN Human Development Report 2010 ranks Afghanistan as the 155th nation out of 169 evaluated in terms of its development. Eighty-five percent of the population does not have access to electricity, and a majority cannot access safe drinking water or sanitation services. In addition, Afghanistan has a staggering 46 percent rate of unemployment.

Nowadays, development experts recognize that energy access is a key step in a country’s economic development. The families in Helmand Province who receive a d.light S250 should experience the immediate benefits of switching away from kerosene and having an extended day. And perhaps this will help in moving the dial on some of those statistics.

We hope this is only the beginning of our efforts to provide bright solar lighting and mobile phone charging to families in Afghanistan.

Read our official press release here.