Light Is For Everyone...

San Mateo, July 2012

Rotary Club of Northwest Austin and Grid Earth Project Provide Solar Lights for San Mateo

Every child in San Mateo has safe solar light in their home, alleviating the dangers of kerosene.

The Grid Earth Project had distributed lamps in San Mateo in the past, however the number of children in need was much greater than had previously been estimated. Due to the outstanding generosity of the Rotary Club of NW Austin, every school age child has received a personal solar lamp.

San Mateo is an array of make shift houses built on stilts in a swampy area. There is no electricity, running water, or sewage. It is literally a place of last resort, a place filled with families trying to survive on the lowest economic rung of society. These lights allow the children the opportunity to study safely after sundown and promote reading and education. More importantly, they keep the children safe. In addition to fires, breathing the toxic fumes from kerosene lanterns in small confined spaces is extremely toxic.

Because San Mateo is in a swamp, the houses are connected by old rotten boards fashioned together with rusty nails, wire and anything else they can get their hands on. They call it "London Bridge" Most of the children in San Mateo are barefoot and eventually suffer cuts to their feet as a result.

In past years many children have been seriously burned, many have died as a result of these burns.

Due to the outstanding generosity of the Rotary Club of NW Austin, this will no longer happen in San Mateo.

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