- Topic: Energy
- Location: 16 villages in Liberia, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda
- Date of completion: 2012-12-31
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- Keywords: Rural women, grandmothers, environmentally friendly, cost effective Greenfield technology, rural communities, solar technology, Barefoot Solar Engineers (BSE), training, fabricate, install, maintain, solar lightening systems, empowerment, illiterate women, skills, UN Women
Letty Chiwara, Chief, Africa Section, Letty.firstname.lastname@example.org
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Description/achievement of initiative
a. Capacity building of grandmothers in Africa on solar technology: In six months' training in India, the women have learnt to use sophisticated tools to fabricate, repair and maintain solar systems. They have learnt how to fabricate charge controllers, inverters and fabricate solar lanterns only using colour code to identify electronic parts. Each of these women has already made lantern circuits, circuits for chargers and LED Lamp chargers.
b. Empower illiterate rural women to solar electrify their own villages in Africa
c. Solar electrify homes and communities in the African countries concerned
d. promote the use of sustainable energy
In brief, the commitment will be achieved through strong leadership and oversight role of UN Women, strong partnership with the Barefoot College of India, preparation of women before the training, training of women in India, procurement, distribution and monitoring of solar equipment and follow up visits and support to Barefoot solar engineers in their communities.
UN Women working in collaboration with relevant Ministries in the selected African countries and the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC), government of India identifies 26 women from 16 villages in Liberia, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda and trained the women in India in the installation and maintenance of solar panels and systems to electrify their own homes and villages.
By getting the communities to pay every month for the use of the solar units (thus reaching the very poorest of the poor who cannot afford to buy these systems even in installments), the financial commitment is assured for the purchase of replacement components and payment of the monthly salary of the woman solar engineer. This salary provides the incentive for the woman solar engineer to work and look after the units regularly.
UN Women, Barefoot College of India