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Waka waka: lights that brighten lives

An armed group raided the town of Bocaranga between 4 and 5 in the morning, on the second day of February. This attack, which was the first of its kind, left the town completely devastated and more than 20 people dead.

As people fled their homes with nothing but their clothes, houses were burned, businesses looted and capital assets stolen or damaged. As the population timidly returned to their houses in the days that followed, they came to the grim realization that there was nothing left for them to return to.

Joseph Baitia, a father of 10, was among those who found their houses completely looted. As he got closer to his property, his heart sank when he saw that everything he had worked so hard for, had been destroyed in the blink of an eye. At the age of 54, he felt deeply saddened that all he had left was a field he had planted. His children were without their school materials and his wife had no kitchen utensils. “I could see that my children were very sad and didn’t even know what to say”, Joseph explained.

“This light didn’t just light up my home, it brightened the heart of every family member!”

Joseph Baitia, Bocaranga, Central African Republic

Through the Central African Republic Joint Response 2, Joseph and his family benefitted from Cordaid’s assistance. The harvest from Joseph’s field was purchased as seeds to support other farmer groups and internally displaced persons that didn’t have anything to plant.

Waka Waka Solar Light

Furthermore, Joseph’s family benefitted from the Waka Waka solar light. “This light didn’t just light up my home, it brightened the heart of every family member!”, Joseph exclaimed. “When we received the light, my children were able to do their homework, and after they went to sleep, my wife would continue using the light to carry out her chores. The light is durable and I’m so impressed that this little tough box can actually produce so much light!”

Waka waka
Joseph Baitia. Photo: Esperant Mulumba

Joseph is grateful for the donation of the Waka Waka lights and wishes more people around Bocaranga could obtain them, as there is no electricity in Bocaranga and the need for lighting is extremely high.

Today, Waka Waka Solar Lights are brightening lives around the Central African Republic in many ways. From aid workers depending on them in extremely remote locations to light up their work to internally displaced persons, victims of armed violence, school kids and people in situations of extreme vulnerability.

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