Partnership lighting up lives in Africa

SAFC and Gentoo making a difference.

Gentoo Group and Sunderland AFC are using their existing partnership to support communities in Africa, through the newly established Nuru Fund - a charity set up by Gentoo, to help finance solar lamps to rural households, replacing expensive, polluting and dangerous kerosene lamps.

To mark the start of the partnership Sunderland AFC will fund the purchase of 100 solar lamps.

The partnership will be extremely beneficial to the Nuru Fund, who hope to use the knowledge and expertise of Sunderland AFC and their valuable connections in Africa to help vulnerable communities.

Gentoo chief executive, Peter Walls said, “This is an exciting opportunity for the Nuru Fund and we look forward to seeing the benefits the partnership with SAFC will bring. Together, we can make a real difference and improve people’s health and education. It’s just the right thing to do.

“Being planet smart is at the heart of Gentoo’s business and our aim is to influence action and initiate change internally, locally, nationally and globally to improve peoples’ Art of Living.”

SAFC commercial director Gary Hutchinson said: “The Nuru Fund is an amazing project, which is making a real and tangible difference to the lives of young people in Africa.

“SAFC has worked closely with Gentoo for a number of years and we are delighted to be able to help them promote and develop this hugely worthwhile project, using our increasingly growing presence and knowledge in Africa.”

The charity offers small customised loans to allow the opportunity for rural households in Africa to purchase solar powered lamps which also have the capacity to charge mobile phones. Replacing kerosene lamps with solar power can help save households 10-25% of their income and enable children to study for longer under better conditions.

The Nuru Fund is also working with partners including charity Children of Comrades Overseas (COCO), founded by Olympian Steve Cram, who coordinate the distribution of loans for solar lamps to those who desperately need them.

So far the Nuru Fund has run a successful pilot in Tanzania, facilitating loans to 24 girls in a boarding school. The loans helped purchase solar lamps and have shown many benefits including improved health, increased hours of homework and act as an income generation opportunity, through the mobile phone charging facility.

Gentoo Group’s whole ethos is about believing nothing is impossible and finding new ways to challenge conventions, Gentoo aims to make society a better place to live and to make a real difference to the way people live their life locally, nationally and globally. To find out more about Gentoo, visit for more information or follow @gentoogroup on Twitter.