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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.

ICT Trainees Graduates Toward a Brighter Future

In May, Kelvin Wanjau, ICT Manager of Africa Initiative for Rural Development (AiRD) traveled 445 kilometers to attend the graduation ceremony of 53 ICT training graduates in Funyala, Busia County. The ICT is in partnership with Intel Africa.

The graduation held at Queen’s Resource Centre saw 26 young women and 27 young men receive ICT certificates from Intel Africa and AiRD. They successfully participated in a 8-week ICT course called the Intel Easy Steps. The Intel ICT course has a mission to improve livelihoods through ICT skills.

Parents, community members and local elders attended the graduation ceremony; congratulating and motivating the younger generations’ achievements. Edwin Odembo, Director of the Queen’s Resource Centre, ICT Trainers, Kelvin Mbuni, Allan Ojiambo and Victor Apopo congratulated their trainees. It was also a celebratory day for the ICT trainers knowing that their trainees progress have come a long way and were recognized as ICT literates.

The ICT training was done on a one-on-one basis and were later on introduced to the Online Learning Portal with competency exam that upon passing entitle them for a certificate.

The graduation event gave hope to many of our young women and young men to start to look for job opportunities, feeling more confident and equipped with ICT skills and a certificate to prove such.

Kelvin has also conducted trainings in Embakasi, Nairobi and Meru whose trainees had graduated earlier in April 2016; more ICT and Digital Literacy trainings will be held across the country.

Keep watching this space for a training close to you!