How do you Charge your Phone in a Refugee Camp?

Globally, over 5 billion people have a mobile phone subscription; they have become an invaluable part of everyday lives. That's something I can definitely relate to!

It’s no different for the 65.6million displaced people and refugees. If anything, access to a mobile phone is far more important:

"From providing refugees with the means to communicate with separated family members and connect with the wider world, to receiving vital income via remittances and humanitarian cash transfers, mobile technology is addressing these needs." – ‘Mobile is a Lifeline’, GSMA

Over 89% of refugees in camps don’t have access to electricity.
So how do you charge your phone in a refugee camp?


Some families may have solar lanterns that can charge a mobile or, if not, they'll need to walk to the nearest market or solar charging station and pay for their mobiles to be recharged. However, GSMA note that,

Reliance on solar power can make charging slow during the rainy season.”


With nowlight just 1 minute of pulling provides 20 minutes of talk time on a mobile.

Independent of the weather, it can be relied upon to provide power anytime.


We’re proud to be working with the International Federation fo the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to test and distribute nowlights to refugees.

In June, I’ll be returning to Mahama camp in Rwanda, hosting over 55,000 mainly Burundian and Congolese refugees, and Imvepi in Uganda, hosting over 86,000 refugees from South Sudan. With the IFRC, we will be trialing early product samples – for further feedback on nowlight and a deeper understanding of how we can meet the specific energy needs of refugees going forwards.