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October 13th, 2010
01:18 PM ET

CNN Hero: 'I really feel encouraged and I will wake up with more energy to do more.'

Evans Wadongo, 23, invented a way for rural families in Kenya to replace smoky kerosene and firelight with solar power.

Evans Wadongo, 23, invented a way for rural families in Kenya to replace smoky kerosene and firelight with solar power.

Programming Note: CNN Heroes received more than ten thousand nominations from 100 countries. A Blue Ribbon Panel selected the Top 10 CNN Heroes for the year. Voting for the CNN Hero of the Year continues through November 18th (6am ET) at CNNHeroes.com

EVANS WADONGO
Editor's Note: Evans Wadongo, 23, invented a way for rural families in Kenya to replace smoky kerosene and firelight with solar power. Through his Use Solar, Save Lives program, he’s distributed an estimated 10,000 solar lanterns, for free.

I was sitting watching a comedy show on a local TV station here in Nairobi when I got the call from CNN. At first I thought they were just calling to ask questions. Then I was told I was in the Top 10. Wow! I am so so excited.

I wish to thank the Blue Ribbon panel for choosing me. I really feel humbled considering all the amazing work being done by all of the CNN Heroes highlighted this year.

I do hope that being in the Top 10 will create even more publicity about the work that we are doing to help poor communities. We really hope to get support from individuals, and more so from corporate companies, and other nonprofits, to reach our target of lifting 100,000 households out of poverty by 2015, by giving them lamps and helping them to set up economic ventures. We want to set up a modern workshop, with modern equipment, that will include a plastic recycling plant, all for making the lamps. We need support to do this.

Just seeing livelihoods change, especially from the small economic ventures that are being set up from the money initially spent on kerosene…it’s the best thing we can ever do for these communities.

I can talk and talk forever - I am just so excited now. I really feel encouraged and I will wake up with more energy to do more.

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Filed under: CNN Heroes
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Mercy

    Keep doing what you are doing. Being from Kenya I'm very proud of you and will do my best to support you financially.

    October 13, 2010 at 1:46 pm |