Funded! This project was successfully funded on January 11, 2013.

Update #21

Lighting up Haiti!

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12 000 Lights have made their way to Haiti and have been distributed to recovering rural areas. This project has acquired a place in the spotlight by supporting the efforts of local Haitian NGOs to ensure safety, work opportunities, longer studying time for children, cleaner streets, new roads, more trees replaced and a higher disposable income. 

Your contribution helped to reach the second stretch goal and made it possible for the creation of a pilot assembly line and work opportunities for local women. Together with the cooperation of Haiti Equipment and Maintenance Services (HEMS), many local women assembled and packaged WakaWaka Lights. It was evident that the women were not only interested in the fabrication, but also in the product itself. Every participant received one WakaWaka for their family. We’re currently assessing the future of large-scale product assembly in Haiti as well as eventual local production of the WakaWaka’s casing. Even the government is excited and has placed a first pilot order! 

These lights are really making an impact, not only in Haiti and at your home, but all around the world. Since the devastating tropical storm, Haiyan, in the Philippines, we’ve been partnering with individuals and organizations for the next Buy One, Give One. WakaWaka Powers provide immediate assistance as well as long-term relief by enabling the survivors to see after dark and to charge their phones to connect with family members elsewhere. In addition, emergency response teams also need a source of light and power to gear up for their relief efforts. The desire is to reach and help as many people as we can, who had little before the tyfoon, and are left with less. 

In the coming days you will hear from me again, especially on this topic. If you can't wait: go to www.solarforphilippines.org and spread the word! 

A heartfelt thank you for making it possible to help families such as these by supporting the product from concept to completion. Thank you for your feedback, your patience, your investment and your ability to make it happen. 

We are extremely proud of our Kickstarter Backers and we brag about you on occassions, leaving people with open mouths wondering 'how we did it'... well... we didn't ... you did

I sincerely hope you will all continue to follow what we do with WakaWaka. We have added you to our newsletter. If you haven't received one yet, go to www.waka-waka.com and subscribe (have you seen our new web design & impact map?? zoom in on Haïti... http://waka-waka.com/impact/ 

Let's keep in touch and I look forward to hearing from you some day. 

Warm wishes & a Big Hug to you all,

Camille

The arrival of WakaWaka Lights in Haiti
The arrival of WakaWaka Lights in Haiti
WakaWakas benefit the environment, family health and child education while increasing financial savings and improve safety at night.
WakaWakas benefit the environment, family health and child education while increasing financial savings and improve safety at night.
Thank you crowdfunders!
Thank you crowdfunders!
 
Many families in Lascahobas received WakaWaka Lights. Read what they have to say!
Many families in Lascahobas received WakaWaka Lights. Read what they have to say!
This village has safe solar lighting now
This village has safe solar lighting now
Evening study hours have been extended for these students and many more, thanks to you!
Evening study hours have been extended for these students and many more, thanks to you!
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Women assembling WakaWaka Lights in Haiti  


Update #20

FAQ & Feeback

Hi all!

While the very last of our backers are receiving their WakaWaka’s, most of you are happily testing them as we speak. We are getting a ton of feedback, most of which is super positive and all of which is very valuable to us. Thank you so much for that!

Hundreds of brand new WakaWaka owners helped us to better understand their experiences via our social media channels or TestTeam page (filling out the form will get you a 10% discount on your next online purchase). This input is greatly appreciated! Here's a selection of what some of you have already told us about their new solar charger and lamp. Although the WakaWaka Power only just hit the market, we already got some amazing reviews. Here's a selection the great stuff journalists and bloggers are saying about the Power.

Nevertheless, we have noticed that there are some frequently asked questions and remarks. In this update we will try to address the most common questions.

Solar charging / LEDs
Some of you are having trouble getting past two or three green indicator LEDs. To understand this behavior of your perfectly normal functioning WakaWaka we have to get into some technical details.

The WakaWaka Power has been specified to charge at least 74% in approx. 6 hours at a New York Latitude, which is 40 degrees North. There is a significant difference with 52 degrees (Amsterdam), when you look at solar intensity at that latitude. That is why most solar products hardly work at all at higher latitudes. With lower light intensity it of course takes longer for the battery to charge, and as the battery gets fuller (past 50%) more charge current is required to charge the remaining capacity. So it is not uncommon that it takes quite some time to get passed 2 LED´s at higher latitudes.
We do have to note that the indicator LEDs are tuned at 25 - 50 - 75 - 100% so with 2 LEDs on, you will have between 50% and 74% capacity. And with 3 LEDs on, you may have between 75% and 99% capacity. Since the last few percent needs to be squeezed into the battery it can be very hard get to 4 LED's. The 4th LED only lights up when the battery is exactly 100% charged. However, as soon as the battery is 100% charged, the drip charge mechanism kicks in and assures the battery is not over charged. For this reason the capacity fluctuates between 98% and 100% and the 4th light turns off again.

Your feedback made us realize that we made a mistake when programming the software. The setting of the LEDs makes you feel as if the WakaWaka Power is not living up to expectations. We've changed the settings for new WakaWaka's. The 4th LED will switch on when battery is charged at 95% or higher. Properly managing expectations. We apologize for any disappointments caused. Now you know your WakaWaka works excellent in sunny conditions on moderate latitudes, far better than any of it´s competitors. Three lights on your WakaWaka Power+ means you have over 2000 mAh of capacity to charge your smart phone - more than enough for most devices!

Solar panel
We have also received some questions about Powers with one or more brighter area’s of the solar module (here’s an example image).

Solar panels are a product of nature. They are ultra thin slices of crystal, which have some color deviation. We try to put the same colors together on one panel but every now and than a different color cell slips through. It has no effect in the efficiency. Even better; you’ve received a 'limited edition'!

Temperature
Some of you have experienced problems after leaving the WakaWaka on the dashboard of car in very warm weather conditions.

A solar powered device should be able to withstand the sun! That’s why we designed the Power to be very capable of withstanding temperatures up to 80 °C (175 °F) without problems. Hence, we never expected there to be any trouble with dashboard usage, and on some occasions even advised you to do so. However we have underestimated how hot it can get inside a car on summer days in hot climates. Because a car acts like a greenhouse the internal temperature can rocket to over 100 °C (210 °F). These conditions will still don’t harm the internal hardware, but the battery will automatically switch of and the plastic cover could become deformed or warped. So just as with kids and pets, we advice you to not leave the WakaWaka in the full sun on your dashboard in very warm climates!

If your WakaWaka is warped due to dashboard use, and you want it replaced, follow the replacement instructions bellow and we’ll get you a new one.

Delays & Blackout Kit
Even though over 90% of our backers have by now received their WakaWaka’s, there are a small number of packages still on their way. Because of logistic problems and incorrect information from some of our distributors, we couldn’t live up to every promise we made. We are working as hard as we can to fix this and sincerely apologize to those who did not received their rewards on time.

For all supporters who pledged for the Blackout kit, most of you did not receive the kit yet. This is due delay of the production of this limited WakaWaka edition. We are dispatching the Blackout units as we speak. However, the usb-radio’s are not yet part of these parcels. But there is no need to worry. The radios will follow quickly after you’ve received the Blackout kits.

Incomplete or damaged orders

Unfortunately a (even) small number of you have received an incomplete order, an empty envelope or a broken WakaWaka or waterproof pouch.We have sent out 7000+ orders and in a couple of cases either a part of the order was missing, broken or a sad empty envelope arrived at your doorstep. We are researching how this is possible!  The few unlucky ones will naturaly get a replacement or completion of their order. To do so send an email to info@waka-waka.com with the following:

  • What happened? What is missing? What is broken and in the last situation - can you specify how it broke down? (attach a photo if you can)
  • Your postal address
  • Your order and color of the ordered WakaWaka’s
We will review and verify your details and will keep you posted about the replacement program! 


We would like to thank you again for all the feedback we have received. It really means a lot to us! We hope the update has answered many of your questions. If it didn’t, please check these FAQs and feel free to shoot us as message at info@waka-waka.com. We are working as hard as we can to answer everyone, but it might take a couple of days for us to get back to you.

Bellow are some smiles from Haiti, Tanzania and Cameroon. That’s why we are doing this. Thank you guys.

Warm wishes,
Camille

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Update #19

Shipping Update #2

Hi all!

All of the WakaWaka Powers have now been shipped from the factory to various distribution centres and the last packages containing your rewards are being prepared as we speak! We did ran in to some delay though, allow us to explain briefly.

Delays

Over the last two weeks all 7000+ Powers came off the production line. While a substantial part of our backers have now recieved their orders we did encounter some unforeseen delays. Mainly due to pain staking inspections at customs (because of the volume and value) quite a few Powers are still on their way. We would like to apologize to those of you who need to wait a little while longer than we promised.

But please rest assured, our crew is working around the clock to make sure every last one of our backers is getting their Powers as soon as possible . Please refer to the ETA's below for the status of shipping in your region.

ETA's

USA
All remaining orders should arrive this week (before the 1st of June)

Europe
All remaining orders should arrive in the first weeks of June (no later than the 15th of June)

Netherlands
 All remaining orders should arrive this week (before the 1st of June)

Canada
All remaining orders should arrive in the first weeks of June (no later than the 15th of June)

Rest of the world
All remaining orders should arrive in the first weeks of June (no later than the 15th of June)

Contact

If you did not receive your order by the stated date, or if you have any other questions concerning your shipment, please shoot us a message via kickstarter or at info@wakawakalight.com. We even hired extra staff to answer al of your questions as soon as possible!

If you already received your order and would like to share your experiences on the WakaWaka Power, we would really, really appreciate it! Please use the form on the Test Team page.

Once again we thank you for your confidence in WakaWaka and in us and on behalf of 60,000 Haitians we would like to say a BIG THANK YOU to all of you!!

Warm wishes, 

 Camille

PS. Check out this new promo vid on the WakaWaka Power: http://youtu.be/A4FT27xeHsM


Update #18

Shipping Update

Hey Everyone!

It's really great to see that so many of you are so engaged and eager to know when you will get your hands on a WakaWaka Power+   (please note the limited edition ´plus´ for 25% extra battery capacity. These days we really have our hands full with logistics and fulfillment. All together we´re shipping out over 8,000 Powers with various accessories, some with names, some with a WakaWaka Light enclosed, all of them with waterproof pouches. It´s quite some organization, but ... we have professionals handling this actually, since we want to limit the room for error to a minimum.

The Powers are coming in in batches. The first batch already arrived last Monday, so we were able to ship some out already. Now we´re also receiving accessories, so we can start making different packages. Currently a batch for EUROPE and REST OF THE WORLD (outside of North America) has been held up by UPS at Dutch customs, since we´re shipping those from the Netherlands. We expect these to be delivered to our fulfillment partner tomorrow (Friday) but it will be a tough one to get those out still the same day. So if you live outside of North America, you may encounter some delay

DELIVERY EXPECTATIONS

It is always dangerous to try to give precise delivery dates, since we depend on third parties, who in general keep their promises, but not always (as we´re noticing now with UPS...). But, let me give you our best estimate at the moment.

- USA/Canada : fulfillment has started and first units are expected to go out on Friday, more will go out during the days after the weekend. Give it a few days for them to get to your doorstep.

- Europe : although some have gone out already, the bulk is delayed, so we will start shipping coming Tuesday/Wednesday. European deliveries may take up to 4 working days

Asia, Pacific, Africa, South America, Middle East: since orders from these corners of the world were quite substantial, we had to use economy service, with a track & trace though and ensured shipping, but deliveries may take as long as 10 working days. So although we start shipping out coming week, pls hold your horses until the end of May.    

If your order has not arrived within let´s say a week from above expectations, than chances are it got stolen or lost in the mail. It may happen to app. 2 or 3%, mostly exotic and remote locations though. In that case let us know. We´ll check what happened and fix it for you.

UPDATES

Since many of you are so very excited, we will be posting more updates next week to keep you posted on progress.

POWER FAMILY & GIFT BOX

It is my pleasure to introduce to you: WakaWaka Power in the exclusive color which we like to call ´KICKSTARTER GREEN´. check out the WakaWaka Gathering and the packaging design. It won´t be long now before you can show off the worlds most efficient & compact solar power station & light to friends and family!

Ok ´nuff said for today. I will be in touch after the weekend. And sincerely hope you appreciated the update again ;-)

Warm wishes,

Camille

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Update #17

Shipping date!

Hi Everyone,

We will start shipping May 15th!
Sending out the more than 7.000 packages to backers worldwide on the same day. It was quite a challenge so we are all really happy that we will be making the original shipping date promised to you. Expect your WakaWaka Powers to arrive in the days following the 15th, but please note that the exact day depends on how far away you're located from one of two shipping points in the US or the Netherlands.

Online sales
I would like to apologize for anyone who feels offended by the fact that a limited number of WakaWaka Powers has become available online this week. Allow me to explain. We have offered our backers a 25% extra battery capacity, the maximum available capacity our supplier is capable of delivering within the available dimensions of the WakaWaka Power, and custom build for this backer model only.
That explains why the retail version of the WakaWaka Power (with the regular 2200 mAh capacity battery) was finished a little earlier. We are now testing the online market with a limited number of this retail version (at Fab.com and next up Amazon). It is not anywhere near the thousands of units ordered by you guys. But if successful, we may expect a lot more from them, and therefore do more good for those around the world without electricity. I hope you understand that we had to jump on this opportunity. As to the price of the WakaWaka Power online, once again, as a backers you are getting much, much, more value for your money than retail costumers. We try our utmost to maintain a minimum advertising price, but we have to allow for some flexibility with regard to promotions, and it is actually illegal to enforce a universal end user price.

Power to Syrian Refugees
I would also like to share some related news with you. Last December we were approached by a major international emergency relief organization (which name I am not at liberty to share at this point, but they are well known and respected). They asked us how soon we could fast track production for some 5,000 WakaWaka Powers for Syrian refugees, on the run for full fledged civil war and the ensuing desperate humanitarian crisis. Recently these units landed in the South of Turkey and have by now finally found their way to 5.000 Syrian families, providing light and power, keeping them safe, enabling them to read, and charge their mobile phones so they can get in touch with lost family members. I sincerely hope you take no offence in the fact that we did everything within our power to utilize the maximum of the preliminary production capacity for this special and most urgent request. In the beginning of a new production run, capacity is usually limited since workers need to get routines down. We are very proud to be able to share this with you since it was your support that has enabled us to do this.

Haiti
The support of all our backers and the massive success of the 'buy one, give one' crowdfunding campaign (and pre-sales on getwakawaka.com) has resulted in over 12.000 WakaWaka Lights for Haitian families living without electricity. A masterplan on the distribution of these free Lights in Haiti is beginning to take shape. Read more about Haiti here.

As for myself, I have been travelling around these past weeks talking to the UN, UN Foundation, Clinton Global Initiative and BilionRising.org about putting WakaWaka further on the global map and therefore neglected you guys a bit. I will be around! So do feel free to approach me with any questions you might have. Your Powers are nearly there!

Warm wishes and talk soon,

Camille

the photos bellow show the arrival of the 5.000 WakaWaka Powers at the southern border of Turkey and some of the first WakaWaka Lights finding their way to students in Haiti

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    POWER DINNER IN NEW YORK . . . . . . . . . . . . September 2013 we will be in New York for the CLINTON GLOBAL INITIATIVE. We would like to invite you to have dinner with us. Exact day, time and place will be communicated with you. Of course we will send you a personalized WakaWaka Power in advance. (pls arrange your own transport & overnight stay).

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