Updates & Pictures

June 2017 Board Members Ed Bourke, Jeff Lochner and Mick Charles paid a visit to Botswana & Zimbabwe in order to see the progress the solar room lights have made. They spent time distributing lights in the areas near Gaborone, Kasane, Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park, and Harare. They also helped with the installation of a solar panel system at Tongogara Refugee Camp. Special thanks to Botswana Book Project, Children in the Wilderness, African Wildlife Conservation Fund & Zambezi School Book Project for helping us organize these efforts.

2016 The Bourke Family Foundation was able to distribute 17,000 solar room lights and 5 solar panels across Liberia, Zimbabwe, and Kenya.


June 2015 Ed Bourke and board member Mick Charles visited Tanzania & Kenya to distribute solar room lights as well as help with the installation of solar panels. The team successfully installed several solar panels (lighting a total of 100 libraries in Tanzania) allowing children to study at night and distributed 600 solar room lights to schools in both Tanzania and Kenya.  Additionally, 500 solar room lights have been sent to Ghana and 400 more solar lights have been distributed in Kenya. The team was able to assist the Singida Regional Commissioner (Governor), Dr Parseko Kone, and the PEN Trust team with the installation of 65 solar panel systems for libraries throughout the area. Your generosity and support has made it possible to bring light to these wonderful children. 

The team installing the solar panel

Students in Tanzania excited about their new lights

The team distributing lights in Tanzania

The team distributing lights in Kenya 

June 2013 Ed Bourke and TBFF board member Larry Gates went to partner organization PEN Trust in Singida, Tanzania to distribute room lights and assess future solar-powered library locations. They also went to Uganda to visit partner organization Wells of Life, where they viewed a water well installed by Wells of Life and also discussed opportunities to drill additional wells.

Muwasuya Students and Teachers 

Wembere Students 

 Kizigo Students

March 2013 The Bourke Family Foundation has sent a total of 500 room lights to Liberia. 250 lights went to The Liberian Assistance Program and 250 lights went to The Liberian Education Project. Both organizations are located in Monrovia.

February 2013 Along with sending a second shipment of 1,000 solar powered room lights to PEN trust, The Bourke Family Foundation has also send 10 solar panels which will illuminate 10 libraries in central Tanzania.


January 2013 Peace Corp volunteer Monica Phung distributed 500 solar powered room lights to children and artisans in Madagascar. An assembly was held at the local middle school where over 700 parents, students, and teachers came to receive lights. Speakers at the event included the Principal, President of the Parents’ Association, Mayor, Chef de District, Chef de CISCO (school board), and the head of the Police. It was a great success. Thanks for all your efforts Monica!


November 2012 Last November, The Bourke Family Foundation partnered with Rotary Club of Gaborone to ship 500 room lights to secondary school children in  Gaborne, Botswana.


March 2012 Pastor Francis Opoku has been getting help to the The Bourke Family Foundation since the first shipment of lights arrived in Ghana. Thanks to him, we’ve received frequent updates and pictures about how the solar powered lights have helped the children advance in their learning. Please take a moment to view the video of children attempting to read at night. 

January 2012 As a follow-up to the previous post (November 25,2011), the LICOREC (Lighted Community Reading Centers) program was established. Here is an excerpt from the email we received from ACM Ghana: “Sitting on logs of lumber, they are still happy that after many generations, they can enjoy the opportunity of reading under clean (solar chargeable) lights. But it was cold. So I made a suggestion that they shift their meeting from the night to the afternoon. The beautiful girl in blue dress (as shown in the photo below)  ‘No, after school, we the girls have lots of work to do at home. This is the only time we can have to join in the reading. Otherwise, we miss everything‘.” When asked how the lights have helped, one boy answered, “We are getting familiar with some simple words we did not know. And we are learning their spellings, too“.

The Bourke Family Foundation is  inspired by the progress the children have made and is excited for future updates.

The teacher was helping the children with their reading
The children couldn’t take their eyes off the books
A boy was answering a question
The girl was happy with the light!

Action Child Mobilization made another distribution of books and lights to the communities of Googo, Sapkre, and Tempeligo. The books were given to the primary school in Googo (the only primary school between the three villages). The library at the primary school will now have over 600 books to share. The solar lights will be available for Grade 1 and 2 students to borrow. In addition, two teachers at the primary school have agreed to run reading centers in their communities. They have committed to gather Grade 1 and 2 children three times a week to read. Each meeting will be 90 minutes and children will use the solar book lights to read along.

ACM presents lights to Googo Primary School
Children’s Group Leader is receiving the solar room lights
Teachers excited about new books for library
Children shown how to use the book lights

November 15-18, 2011 Ed and Gigi Bourke (co-founders of TBFF) traveled to Tanzania to meet with PEN Trust and distribute books and lights.  They traveled to Singida (a very rural area outside Dodoma) to different schools.

Ed Bourke passing out lights to school children in Singida
Ed Bourke showing how the solar lights work
Gigi Bourke passing out lights
Mungwe of PEN Trust showing the children how to use the lights
School Children in Singida with their new solar lights!
Mungwe with school children and solar lights

Action Child Mobilization traveled to a remove village, Kanania, near Chaina in the Upper East region of Ghana. Pastor Francis of ACM and Reverend Daniel Schmoll from Oregon distributed books and solar lights to the community.

Reverend Schmoll presenting the solar lights

New books for the community

Group Picture

Children celebrating