I have a project idea I thought I would try running past people here, figuring you'all have considerable more experience with this.
Anytime I travel out of the country for extended periods of time I like to take on little projects to try and help locals where I travel and work. Shoes, school supplies, radios you can crank to power, medical supplies, stuff like that.
I was reading a national geographic magazine about a man whos making a 7 year journey from Africa to Southern America to retrace mankinds emigration into the to the world [ Story - http://outofedenwalk.nationalgeographic.com/ ] when I got an idea. He wrote about how important cell phones were to the locals andhow they would give them to other people to travel considerable distances to recharging stations so I had an idea; what about solar chargers? It may seem wasteful (?) but cell phones apparently are super important for people buying and selling stuff, arranging meetings, setting prices, it saves a lot of time.
Are there any cheaper style solar chargers out there that someone could hypothetically collect and have shipped to Africa for distribution to locals? Obviously not the $300cdn powermoney style super solar chargers for cells but there must be some kind of cheaper mass produced alternative? Would it be better to set up an account for donations and buy the solar-cell chargers en masse and say have them shipped directly from china or better to have people ship them to an address through Canada?