Although recipients may have very little or no money, there is always a small (symbolic) amount of money or community service that must be provided by the recipient. The ‘free, but not for nothing’ principle is important in terms of long-term development for several reasons:
It is common experience that free products often have little value in a recipient community. Free items are often handled carelessly or sold for quick profit. We want to establish sustainable ownership over people’s personal power solutions.
Some examples of the ‘free but not for nothing’ efforts and successes are:
Planting Trees, Haiti
CODEP is an organization that is working
on reforesting Haiti by planting forests and fruit
trees together in thirty small, rural communities.
The communities’ service in return was planting
50000 extra trees for the 1175 donated
Safe Play Area, Belize
Grid Earth, our partner in Belize, assisted a village concerned about the safety of their children. A small property was acquired and cleared where the WakaWaka recipients created a secured play area. This allowed the mothers to oversee the children interchangeably.
Symbolic Price, Mali
With the support of our Dutch partner
organization in Mali, Dogon Women’s Initiative,
Dogon women save money for the purchase of
WakaWakas. They pay an equivalent of 3.50
Euros for a WakaWaka Light to the Dogon
Women’s Initiative for the purchase of more
WakaWaka Lights. This symbolic price makes the
product more valuable for these women.
Improving Schools, Haiti
The parents of children who received WakaWaka Lights have improved their school by purchasing classroom ventilators, paving a path to the entry, connecting the building to the water supply and providing water collection products.