Bartering for Solar Lamps

We tried selling solar lamps at many different price points, all heavily subsidized, but had very limited success. But then, they disappeared into homes as fast as we could obtain them. Why? Instead of selling the lamps, we recruited communities into barter programs – they perform community service in return for a lamp. The community chooses the project and the recipient, so they are happy to participate. They have built hundreds of  homes for old, blind, widowed, and ill people. They’ve dug latrines, provided care for people with HIV/AIDS and helped orphans. The lamps have become very popular currency.  Where the soil if adequately clay-like, we build brick houses.  Where it is too sandy, we continue to build wood frame houses packed with mud!