As the local power grid was overloaded one extremely hot January day this year, the neighborhood lost power, as it does once or twice each summer.

Unfazed, I reached for my trusty, D Battery powered flashlight under my kitchen sink, which only makes an appearance during these summer blackouts.

And you guessed it, batteries were dead and I was left fumbling in the dark, tripping over the dog.

Brewing my morning coffee at work the next day, I recounted the evening’s power outage to a co-worker [with increased dramatics of course] and he suggested I get myself a solar powered light for these emergencies.

There are many green, eco-friendly options to be found when searching online and I was looking at them all. And they all seemed to be the same.  And then I stumbled onto the Waka Waka site …and my first thought was “What ‘s a Waka Waka”.

Waka Waka

Is there a site dedicated to Shakira’s World Cup theme? Or for the noise a Pac Man makes when he eats or Fozzie the Bear’s catch phrase from The Muppets?

Thankfully, it was not any of those three.

I was immediately drawn in to the images of their solar powered light.

Not only did this light look different from all of the others [the colour, the design and its versatility], but this is a product with a conscience.

The company promotes a “share the sun” philosophy/mission statement that mirrors the same sort of “feel good” shopping experience as US based companies as Toms  [who will donate one pair of shoes and/or glasses for every pair that is purchased] and Warby Parker  [who will make a monthly donation to their nonprofit partners, based on the number of glasses sold].

Waka Waka

It’s a simple and basic model: Buy one, send one.

For each unit that you purchase, a solar powered light [that produces 80 hours of light on a full battery charge, that takes 5-10 hours of sun to fully charge] to a family living through a humanitarian crisis. This simple business model has had a worldwide impact on 45 countries.

It’s simple hand-held design, also allows for table top presentation or even mounted on the neck of a long, tall bottle.

Selfishly, all I wanted was a renewable household light for future power outages to prevent me from tripping over the dog in the dark and I ended up having a positive impact on a family in Haiti that has survived a natural disaster.

BTW, “Waka Waka” means “shine bright” in Swahili, just in case you didn’t already know!