Share this project


Share this project

Super efficient Personal Solar Power Station to charge your iPad, iPhone or any other smart phone. With excellent reading light.
5,622 backers pledged $419,472 to help bring this project to life.

THANK YOU on behalf of 50,000 Haitians

Posted by Camille van Gestel (Creator)
Today, January 12th, it is precisely 3 years ago that an earthquake hit Haiti, the most devastating ever. Still almost 370,000 people need to live in shelters, in the dark. Life comes to an end after sunset. Hardly any possibilities to ready or study, earn some extra income, no light to cook, or to simply have a good time. For nearly 50,000 people this situation is about to change. Thanks to … 5,622 backers and 1395 Dutch crowdfunders! As a result of two incredibly successful crowdfunding campaigns we are able to donate nearly 10,000 WakaWaka Lights to 10,000 families (of 5 people average) in Haiti.

Amazing results after an amazing campaign.$419,472 on Kickstarter + $275,000 from the Netherlands. A staggering total of $694,472. If you’re interested, here’s the campaign from a bird’s eye view.

12-12-12 Launch Let’s #LightUpHaiti campaign
For several weeks we have been working towards this day. We produced a trailer movie to draw attention to our website which resulted in hundreds of people who asked for an email alert on launch date. Thank you Rob, Sjoerd, Aart and Lars for producing the trailer! Thank you Jaqueline, France-Love, Junior and Judelande for featuring in the movie. You are all stars now!

We were launching two campaigns separately. Of course we launched on Kickstarter “the” crowdfunding platform in the world, where WakaWaka was successfully received last year already. But since we’re based in The Netherlands and Dutch don’t have Amazon payment accounts we figured it would be useful to have a Dutch platform as well. just launched 2 months earlier, still we decided go live with them with a goal of raising € 25.000 in 30 days. On Kickstarter we announced we wanted to raise $50,000 in 30 days. Together that would allow us to get WakaWaka into production. Of course we hoped we would exceed our targets…

On 3.11pm EST, 9 hours later than anticipated (we aimed at 12-12-12 12:12 GMT lol) we were live on both sites. We had some technical issues on Kickstarter, which got us all a bit nervous for a couple of hours. So much preparation and than not being able to launch on time, tough haha. But … within 20 seconds after we went live we had our first backer! (thanks Eric Ramirez!) seconds later another one and backers kept on coming! We started to send thank you notes right away, but right from the start it was already hard to keep up with copy-pasting thank you notes to everyone.

24 hrs later: 100% in the Netherlands – 48 hrs: 100% on Kickstarter!
Really really amazing! Within 24 hrs we hit our first goal on OnePlanetCrowd in The Netherlands: € 25.000 in a single day. Unprecedented in our small country. Less than a day later, some 48 hrs after we launched: 100% on Kickstarter as well! $50,000. We thought of stretch goals before, but didn’t anticipate having to announce them so quickly already!

4 days later: NL : 250% - US/Global: 200% - New stretch goals needed
We were speechless because of the speed at which the campaign was evolving. New backers were joining every few minutes. This is turning into a real ‘WakaWaka Community’. We decided to offer everyone 25% extra battery capacity free of charge, backers only, as a reward for their confidence and involvement.

1 week later: NL: € 100,000
We promised we would offer a special color to all our backers once the Netherlands hit their stretch goal and we did! Within a week 400%.... quite amazing for The Netherlands. Let alone on the newly launched platform.

2 weeks later: water proof pouch?
One of the many heard comments we read was the specific wish to make WakaWaka Power more water resistant. Because of the 2 USB connectors, it is more sensitive to rain, despite the clip which covers the connectors already. We figured it would be a nice solution to offer all our backers a water proof pouch if we would hit $250,000 (quite an ambitious stretch goal at that time…). We thought it would be a good idea to ask people to make a choice out of 4 different options we found… haha… 256 comments… people choosing, but also a lot of backers who wanted to know everything there was to know about the different pouches like, exact size, thickness of the material, were they UV coated, were the sonic welds strong enough and many many more… we ordered a bunch of different pouches and we decided to test them professionally in Camille´s bathtub. A few hours later we had a winner! Fortunately 95% of the community agreed with our preference after testing.

Who organizes a competition during Christmas??
WakaWaka was selected among the top 12 most successful start-up companies in the Netherlands. To include the voice of the reader, a competition was organized by the entrepreneurial business platform. A few days before the end of the campaign, WakaWaka was ranked #4, around 500 votes behind the# 1. We figured to ask our backers if they would like to help us out. To our great surprise we were ranked #1 less than 10 hours later! And that´s when our competitor woke up all of sudden, just before they sat down before their Christmas dinner… What followed was a fierce competition between discount website Scoupy and social enterprise WakaWaka. Literally hundreds of people tweeted about the competition! And hundreds of people voted. In the last few hours of the campaign Scoupy sent out a mail blast to their discount subscribers `vote scoupy and have a chance to win a Skydive´… although we were a mile ahead, after that mail blast we didn´t want to spam you any more than we already did. Without any marketing budget, we were proud to receive 43% of all the votes, putting WakaWaka on 2nd place as Best Startup Company of 2012. THANK YOU all who voted for WakaWaka.

3 weeks later: assembly in Haiti
Much sooner than expected we hit our $250,000 stretch goal on Kickstarter. This meant a water proof pouch for all Kickstarter backers and fast tracking our plans for an assembly line on Haiti! The final step in assembling the WakaWaka will be done in Haiti before we distribute the WakaWaka Lights which have been donated. The intention is to have a permanent assembly line, also creating jobs. This is work in progress, but the pilot assembly line will happen already.

Last stretch… 1 week to go
Normally a typical crowdfunding campaign peaks in the beginning and sometimes a little bit in the end. Our campaign didn´t just peak on the first day, but during the first 5 days around 300 people were backing us every day again and again. Normally the popularity drops quickly after 24 or 48 hrs. What´s even more interesting is that in the last 7 days or so we actually topped the average of the first week! That´s quite unusual behavior, but there is a reason for that… we have been working very very hard with a team of people to get as much attention for our campaigns as possible. Sooner or later we had to be picked up by some serious media and that´s what happened. A cool video presentation of our campaign on Mashable showed an incredible spike in the number of backers who found us. 2 days later a website called published about us in Germany which was picked up by Der Spiegel, a very popular magazine in Germany. So thanks to our newly found German friends we had the best day ever during our campaign! Also, we were very proud to let you know that famous climatologist James Hansen paid attention to WakaWaka in his article 'Galileo and the Fireflies'. Newly found friends in the US (mr. JR Gaillot) also made it possible that we got exposure on both the West Orlando News and NBC´s The Grio. Very cool!

January 12th, 2013 – one month later
…. $419,472 on Kickstarter and around $275,000 on OnePlanetCrowd, together practically $695,000 brought together by 7,017 backers from all over the planet. Many, because they wanted to get their hands on the most efficient solar charger & light in the world and wanted to get it first. Others because the wanted to make a difference in the world and got a cool gadget as a reward. You know, `the reasons why´ are so many and all are good since they help us to create impact. We are moved by the incredible support we got from you guys. Thank you all for your sweet & heart warming messages. It has been an amazing journey we embarked on and it feels like we are absolutely not alone out there… This is not the end for WakaWaka Power, but the beginning. And much, much is yet to come (we can´t disclose too much yet, but new adventures will be showing up on the horizon real soon). If you want to stay tuned, likes us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, and we really don´t mind your retweets…

LET´S LIGHT UP HAITI a little more…
We are still working on getting more exposure for our Let´s #LightUpHaiti campaign and until the moment when WakaWaka Power will actually be available on Amazon and other online shops, we will continue our pre-sale campaign on our own website. So don´t hesitate to tell people about what we´re doing and about the impact we are making. You can still pre-order your WakaWaka Power until March 1st

So… If we haven´t seen you yet… we hope to see you soon!

On behalf of 50,000 Haitians who have a brighter future ahead of them now:

Warm wishes,

The WakaWaka Team
  • Image 200598 original.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1
  • Image 200602 original.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1


Only backers can post comments. Log In
    1. Florin Radu on


      As one of your Kickstarter backers I see that you plan on distributing the WakaWaka in Haiti, especially to school children. My father-in-law is running a school and orphanage in Haiti, about an hour out of Port-au-Prince in Montrouis. They have over 400 students grades 1-9, and about 50 small children in the orphanage. It's been basically a one man show running on donations and volunteer work from people in Bermuda. The charity is 'Feed My Lambs Ministry' ( and is a registered charity in Bermuda and Haiti.

      The reason I'm writing is to ask if you'd consider donating some WakaWaka's to the children in that area. I know from first hand experience that there's a lot of need there. If this is something you'd consider, please let me know.

      Thank you and kind regards,


    2. Missing avatar

      Jan van Doorn on





    3. Yusuf Gunawan on

      Congrats on the successful campaign! It is a great product and also being able to help others in need.

    4. Camille van Gestel 2-time creator on

      Hey Guys, I had a good nights rest after celibrating the truly truly amazing result last night! It´s such a joy to be on this rollercoaster and I hope you are feeling some of the excitement as well. We are making impact in the world together. "We" as in `all you guys and us together´. great!!!

    5. Missing avatar

      Harold Morato on

      With great purpose, good people will unite! Congratulations! It has been a rewarding experience for everybody! God bless!

    6. Missing avatar

      lmouchoum on

      Félicitation !! merci a vous

    7. Eric on

      Congratulations on a great result!
      Sommige Nederlanders hebben overigens wel Amazon accounts ;)

      (translates to: By the way, some Dutch do have Amazon accounts ;) )

    8. Daniel Drewitz on

      Nicely done, congratulations! Thank you for combining a great product with social responsibility. Looking forward to participate in future projects!

    9. Missing avatar

      tom cisewski on

      Very well done - congratulations! Thanks for conceiving a useful product, reducing GHG emissions, and for improving lives and providing opportunity to those in need in Haiti.

    10. Missing avatar

      Kevin on

      awesome work, cant wait to receive mine and definitely hope to hear about how this helps the people in Haiti, be nice to hear some positive new on the tv these days. Great work guys.

      oh, is there word on the voted on color? Not on facebook so I couldnt vote.

    11. Missing avatar

      Big Mac on

      Excuse multiple typos!

    12. Missing avatar

      Big Mac on

      Congratulations to Camille and his tea and fellow bakers. Good product and a good social outcome. All the best to everone.

    13. Rand Chua TL on

      Hope to see news of WakaWaka helping them on tv or internet soon.

    14. Rand Chua TL on

      Great to know the project going to be a great help to a lot of people.