Shining a New Light: Just One Lamp

The Challenge

In 2004, Kenyan engineer Evans Wadongo designed a solar lamp that Kenyan families could use instead of kerosene lamps, addressing poor education, climate change, health issues, and poverty in rural areas of Kenya. He started an organization, Sustainable Development for All (SDFA), to raise public awareness and collect donations. While Evans' noble cause began to attract attention in Africa, it had yet to build significant momentum in the United States. When Evans was named one of CNN's 2010 Heroes, SDFA Kenya did not have an effective infrastructure or brand to capture, educate, and retain U.S. donors.

Response

The REaction Strategy Group (RSG) team was impressed and inspired by Evans' innovative idea and story, but understood the critical need to launch a focused campaign targeted at the American donor market. Effectively capturing these donors would propel the organization onto a global stage, allowing Evans to expand his project to poverty-stricken countries all over Africa. An upgrade of the current, rudimentary website was the most urgent need. Through focus groups, we also determined that both the name of the lamp, "Mwangabora," as well as the current campaign name "Sustainable Development for All" were neither concise nor memorable enough.

RSG's goals for the engagement were simple: build a modern but fitting new brand for Evans, create a sleek and clear website infrastructure for awareness and donations, and set up a simple video blogging workflow for Evans to keep his donors updated. We would capitalize on his biggest strengths - his story and his homemade, on-the-ground feel.

Results

RSG first worked with Evans to generate a lengthy list of new names for the U.S. campaign, deciding on 'Just One Lamp" because of the emphasis on the astonishing number of benefits just using solar lamps had for rural Kenya. A logo and scheme was designed around this brand, preserving Evans' workmanlike feel.

RSG then designed and built a complete website, rich with videos and customized infographics. Drawing upon research and analysis of non-profit website "best practices," RSG designed this site completely in-house to allow maximum flexibility and control for the client, while making it possible for him to minimize the costs associated with developing a website. This new site places a very heavy emphasis on clear illustration of the benefits of Evans' solar powered lamp and the results it brings to the villages Evans visits.

Finally, to retain donors and keep them engaged, RSG developed a simple video blogging workflow for Just One Lamp. Realizing that Evans has very limited time and money constraints for anything other than operations, the videos allowed him to give very raw and emotional accounts when telling the positive stories of the villages and people benefiting from his work.

Implementation is currently in progress for this project.