Aidex Voices

Ahead of AidEx 2015 taking place in Brussels, we caught up with exhibitor Durbin, one of the world’s leading specialist distributors of pharmaceuticals, medical and relief supplies, which distributes to over 180 countries and sources products from 64 different countries, to discuss the benefits of collaboration with MPOWERD.

What is Durbin’s role in the humanitarian aid and development sphere?

We are one of the leading distributors of pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and relief goods to charities of all kinds around the world. We also work to help charities with their end-to-end medical supply needs; we do everything from sourcing components, assembling and storing kits, to distributing the equipment around the world as and when required.

Why did Durbin choose to collaborate with MPOWERD in particular? What brought about the collaboration?

Today, there are 1.3 billion people in the world living in energy poverty. Many vulnerable communities are forced to resort to using kerosene fuel for lighting purposes – but this is highly flammable and toxic, and poses a serious threat to health and safety.

MPOWERD’s Luci light provides a sustainable, safe alternative to kerosene lamps. It’s an inflatable, waterproof, lightweight and flat-pack solar-powered lamp, which provide up to 12 hours of light and lasts up to 10 years.

Having seen the power of the Luci light in action (over 2,000 Luci lights were delivered to victims of the Nepal earthquake earlier this year), it was clear that this a fantastic product, which could make a real difference to relief efforts across the world.

MPOWERD was looking for a partner that had a pre-existing understanding of the charity market, and had an in-depth knowledge of the challenges around international logistics.

What challenges have you experienced during this project?

The real challenge we have identified is helping a very diverse group of individuals within NGOs, government bodies and charities to understand that there is an alternative to kerosene lighting, which is cheaper in the long-term, easier to distribute and, most importantly, safer for use.

Local communities have traditionally used kerosene lamps. How have you reached out to them with this newer technology? 

We have worked with a number of local communities in the last couple of years, such as the Samburu tribe in north-central Kenya, focusing on engagement to ensure that the product is used to maximum effect. We then feed-back these experiences into the product development to make sure it continues to fulfil their needs.

What brings you to AidEx 2015?

We have been a long-term attender of AidEx for our existing charity supply – pharmaceuticals and medical equipment – which services charities and NGOs around the world. We are still bringing this service to AidEx and are looking forward to meeting contacts old and new. In addition, this year will be the first time Luci will be at AidEx and we are excited about introducing the product to the event, and demonstrating the fantastic impact it can have on peoples’ lives.