Mark Bent, a former Marine and oil industry executive, went to Africa and saw the need for a source of light that wouldn’t just last for a few hours nor endanger the people using it. He felt a pull on his heart and said to himself, “I can’t do anything about world hunger; I can’t do anything about racism; I can’t do anything about the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. But I can do something about lighting.’’
Kerosene lamps are not only costly, they’re also hazardous to the users’ health. According to the World Bank, 780 million people in the developing world, the majority of whom are women and children, are exposed to kerosene lantern fumes equivalent to ingesting two packs of cigarettes a day. More than two-thirds of lung cancer victims in the developing world are female, as women are the primary homemakers. Accidental fires kill or wound hundreds of thousands of families and countless homes are destroyed because of their widespread use. Now people in Angola, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, South America, Central America, and Haiti are able to have lights in their homes, and Bent has seen the difference this has made in their lives.
“What we do with single-use flashlights in the United States is just plain stupid. The light industry functions because of planned obsolescence. We buy something knowing that in about fifteen hours, it’s not going to work anymore. The flashlight patent by Eveready Flashlights has not changed since 1984. The light model hasn’t been changed for over a hundred years, and to me, that’s ridiculous.”
People who are environmentally conscious immediately see the benefits of owning a BoGo, considering the longevity of the LEDs (they last up to two years) and the shelf-life of its other parts. What Bent really wants people to understand, however, is that when they decide to be a little bit greener with their lifestyle, they’re also helping someone else receive the gift of light. For every BoGo Light bought, SunNight Solar will give an international assistance group like Feed the Children, Samaritan’s Purse or Invisible Children a light to give to someone in need along with the money needed to ship the light.
But the best is yet to come from SunNight.
“I was in the oil industry, and I was very highly compensated, but I viewed God leading me this way,” he said. “I just had to do it. I had to make a change.”