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For a brighter Africa, Foroba Yelen

Light is a vital element for life and this was demonstrated by the Italian architect Matteo Ferroni who started an anthropological study in the rural communities of Mali (Africa) to remedy the impact of darkness on rural society.

We encountered its history when he presented his project to the Lamp Lighting Solutions Awards and we didn't want to miss a single detail.

After studying a rural community used to the moonlight and the brightness of the lanterns, Matteo understood the importance of the night in the daily life of the villages. That's why he decided to design the first mobile streetlight prototype, known by the locals as "Foroba Yelen".

A mobile streetlight made without any plans and with scrap parts provided by the locals: a bicycle wheel, a solar panel, a motorbike battery and some drainpipes. A "Foroba Yelen" which has become a tool to be shared amongst everyone and which allows any activity to be carried out be it educational, ritual or work-related when there is no sunlight.

We were deeply moved when we found out that the Lamp Award given to Matteo has allowed 3 hospital centres and another 5 villages to be able to enjoy this "collective light". Undoubtedly a brilliant solution which as well as the Lamp Lighting Solutions 2013 Award, also gained a special mention in the City to City Barcelona FAD Award.

Until May 4th the National Anthropology Museum of Madrid is hosting the Foroba Yelen exhibition which recounts the whole story of this existing journey which we know has only just begun. Good luck Matteo!

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