Program 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
Nominated Evans Wadongo | HIS STORY
I met Evans [at university]; he was my classmate. His creativity and dedication to eradicating poverty in Kenya has been an inspiration to me and all his friends. He started a project called 'Use Solar, Save Lives', which involves making and distributing solar powered Lanterns to poor rural households.
Evans grew up in a rural household where he had no access to electricity. Lack of lighting was a big problem in his education since he was unable to study or do home work.
He designed the lantern, raises the money, makes the lanterns and distributes them freely.
He used part of his academic loan to start making the lamps. Since the start of the project in 2004, he has distributed thousands of lamps and he aims to distribute even more.
He skips two meals every day to raise funds to make the lamps. He has denied himself a better life to help light up rural communities.
When I first found out that Evans was one of the Top 10 CNN Heroes, I was filled with joy; it was great! To know that he had been chosen for such an honor was truly unbelievable and to know that I had helped him in such a way was such a blessing to me.
Evans has changed the lives of many poor children with his program. Children can now study/do home work and the project is also helping reduce hunger since they can save part of the money used for kerosene to buy food. All at the age of 23 - unbelievable!
I thank the CNN Heroes for giving me an opportunity to nominate him so that the world could learn about his work.
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Evans is a true hero.
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