LEWISBURG - A Bucknell University student group has received a $10,000 Projects for Peace grant from philanthropist Kathryn W. Davis.
The project, "Light the Way," will provide solar-powered lamps to students in rural Ninglang County in China.
Ninglang County is listed as one of the poorest counties in the country.
The sophomore students involved in the project are Sean Xu, a political science and economics major; Yili Jiang, a computer science and engineering major; Melissa Dunne, education and history; and Maxy Xiao, international relations.
"The main goal of the lamp distribution program is to improve students' study conditions," said Xu. "Many elementary schools in Ninglang County have no electricity so students can study only until the sun sets, and must go outside on cloudy or rainy days, a practice which can cause myopia."
Ninglang County is located in the northwestern part of Yunnan Province at a relatively high altitude, making solar energy abundant.
The solar-powered lamps can be purchased online in China for $11 each; the rechargeable batteries can store electricity for nearly eight hours.
"The project aims to help around 520 students," said Xu, who traveled to China last summer with Jiang to meet with elementary school principals to discuss the project, which will begin this summer during a 20-day trip.