Guest Post by: Loren Spendlove
The dictionary definition of survival is ‘the state or fact of continuing to live or exist, typically in spite of an accident, ordeal, or difficult circumstances’.
As I write this post, I can’t help thinking of the five years my wife and I spent living in Mozambique, Africa. Survival is a daily fact of life in Mozambique. The people there lack many of the basics that we often take for granted. Clean water, sufficient food, economic activity. All of these things are deficient or non-existent. All of them are “no-brainers” as far as their importance to survival is concerned.
What’s also on that list that was surprising to us, is the lack of reliable light, electricity and cell phone connectivity. We often think of these things as luxuries, things that are not necessary for life. But what is often termed “energy poverty” around the world is as detrimental to basic survival as any of the “obvious” things I listed above.
Imagine you have no access to electricity. What are you going to do for light? Well, as we’ve seen over and over again in the developing world, what you’re most likely to use in place of electricity is a kerosene lamp. The toxic fumes from kerosene lamps, particularly when used in enclosed spaces, are incredibly harmful to human being. What are you going to do if you are in an emergency and you need to contact someone at a distance immediately? If you don’t have a fully charged cell phone or access to a reliable telephone system, there really isn't much you can do.
It was seeing the effects of energy poverty in Africa first hand that led us to develop Zuva.
Zuva is a durable, heat resistant, water resistant solar flashlight with a rubberized exterior for added strength, and a 1100 mAh (milliamphere-hour) rechargeable lithium-ion battery capable of fully charging a smart phone through the USB port built into the handle. Its battery can be charged by the sun or through an integrated micro-USB port. Its battery and LED never need to be replaced, and we’re able to produce it at a cost that makes it affordable in both developed and developing countries.
We came up with this product because we wanted to create something that would make a difference in the fight against energy poverty, and we’ve teamed up with the NGO Care for Life to make that happen. But Zuva’s functionality and durability make it useful in a wide array of emergency and disaster preparation roles.
One of the things we’re really excited about is our partnership with Care for Life, which runs sustainable self-reliance programs in sub-Saharan Africa. For every four Zuvas we sell through our Indiegogo campaign, we’re giving one to Care for Life. But they’re not just going to hand them out in Africa. They’re going to use them as incentives in their programs. Participants will have to meet program goals in order to receive Zuvas, thus promoting goal-oriented self-reliance. To paraphrase the proverb, Care for Life is teaching men to fish.
We’ve created what we believe is a versatile product perfectly suited to the emergency and disaster preparation market. And, at a price of $20 per flashlight, you’ll get value as well as function.
We hope all of you will come check out the Zuva Indiegogo campaign at http://www.tinyurl.com/ZuvaLight, and get a great product while making a difference in the fight against energy poverty in the developing world.
PhD, Education – University of Wyoming. MBA – California State University, Fullerton. BS, Finance – Brigham Young University. Certified Financial Manager (CFM). Certified Management Accountant (CMA).
MA, Health Psychology – Northcentral University. BA, Psychology – Southern Utah University.