The Starling Project was founded in 2015 with the mission of providing solar energy to communities in need around the world.


On her travels around the world with UNICEF, where she is a Director on the New York Board, Sterling McDavid has witnessed many humanitarian issues first hand. In countries such as Rwanda, Vietnam, and Jamaica, Sterling has seen UNICEF saving lives.

Sterling founded The Starling Project in 2015 with the simple idea of creating candles that give back and would engage people in a tangible way to help support solar energy for those in need. The idea is light for light. The hope is that each Starling Project customer will enjoy a quality candle while simultaneously knowing that he or she is helping someone in need. The Starling Project has proudly given over $250,000 to UNICEF for life-saving solar projects in Rwanda and Chad.

Sterling received UNICEF’s Champion for Children Award and the President’s Volunteer Service Award from President Obama for her efforts.


The Starling Project candles are hand-poured in Brooklyn,  New York and are composed of soy wax, recycled glass, cotton wicks and ethically-sourced essential oils. Each candle burns for a minimum of 60 hours.

Photo Credit: UNICEF_Chad_2012_Asselin (2)

Light For Light

The Starling Project provides development of solar power systems in countries such as Rwanda by supporting UNICEF through the sale of hand-poured candles made in Brooklyn, NY.

The World Energy Outlook 2019 shows nearly 770 million people are without access to electricity, and more than 580 million of those people live in sub-Saharan Africa.

We believe all people have a right to a safe, healthy life. Sustainable, long-term solar power provides light, safety, health, education and so much more.

People without electricity worldwide

770 million

Current project

Solar for hospitals in Rwanda

Amount raised to date

Over $250,000 USD

Countries served to date

Rwanda & Chad

“Energy is the golden thread that connects economic growth, increased social equity, and an environment that allows the world to thrive.”
— UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Photo Credit: UNICEF_Chad_2012_Asselin (3)

Why Starling

If you have ever witnessed a flock of starlings in flight, you likely stood in awe. Gathering, rising, spinning and pulsing, starlings represent the transformative power and energy each of us has when we come together.