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Gender Empowerment and Solar Lighting

At Africa Initiative for Rural Development (AiRD), we believe in gender empowerment and equality not in a sense of just verbally expressing it, but putting that belief into application, into something real.

Together with our implementing partner Technical Community Training Institute (TCTI), we have been teaching a technical course in solar light and electrical installation to both women and men, with women being highly encouraged to participate. TCTI has otherwise been offering technical skills development mainly targeted to the construction sector and which tend to attract only gentlemen, who after graduation are linked to employment opportunities locally and overseas.

Through the solar light and electrical installation course, we are teaching young women and men to be electricians so they can utilize their skills at home and at the community. Our desire is to have women having access to equal opportunities, to learn new skill sets that are commonly associated with men and to find sustainable employment.

Our objective is equally to have women step up and engage actively in addressing issues around climate change, especially in enhancing access to clean energy. Through imparting skills in solar lights development, repairs and maintenance, AiRD seeks to have a pool of women technicians who will reap in this emerging market.

AiRD also seeks to develop a solar pack that is affordable and very user friendly targeting the rural communities. We understand the economies of energy poverty and thus we strive to contribute to the addressing of the challenges associated with the move from traditional energy sources (kerosene) to renewable energy sources (solar lamps).

Solar light and electrical installation trainees are taught practical mathematics, how to use digital multimeters and soldering techniques. The women trainees are very enthusiastic in learning this new skill. We believe that when we equip one young woman with this practical skill, many more will be motivated to learn and will eventually light up the whole village. Who knows, in the near future, we might have solar lamps with mobile phone charging units made by our electricians!

Would you like to learn this interesting skill too? Come visit our AiRD office and inquire more through TCTI in Sarakasi Dome, 2nd floor in Ngara, Nairobi. We are open Mondays to Fridays from 9 AM until 5 PM. Karibuni Sana and we look forward to seeing you here.