Light up the darkness: illuminate urban slums with low-cost solar technology that is marketted, installed, maintained by women
So much violence takes place when people think they are not seen by others - in the darkness. Sanitation and bathing facilities sometimes in communal areas, or coming home after school or work in the dark is plain scary. Low cost and durable solar lighting is a mature technology and should be available to everyone living in poor communities - but it isn't. Grameen Shahkti in Bangladesh has already led with a radical and large scale programme to promote this in rural areas - and it's working! Why not bring it into urban areas across the world? Training in the technology, micro-finance options and distribution systems are all that's needed. True, it won't tackle all the root causes of violence, but it will surely enlighten the way.
I'm inspired by this because solar power can do so much to empower poor people in rural or urban areas - by increasing safety, but also for more time to study at night, etc. But it also saves people a lot of money - candles, kerosene and any other alternative require you to keep buying new things, whereas this one-time-investment should last for years, assuming quality products have been selected.
A solar light made by Illumination distributed in post-flood Paksitan at a cost of $7.50 per light
I've been part of DFID-Pakistan's humanitarian response to floods since 2010 and we have supported the distribution of over 100,000 of different solar lights and the feedback from people in communities has been overwhelmingly positive. With power cuts a constant problem across the country I am certain that low-income urban communities are in darkness much of the time. Imagine how it feels to go outside in that context!