In short we say- SDFA-Africa can ‘turn kerosene into honey’. Our model is the only one that equips rural women with business skills and enables them to set up businesses from the money that they would have otherwise spent on kerosene, ensuring that they have more income to improve their lives but also to adopt other green technologies easily. The women set up a agribusinesses, trading stores, village micro-finances, among others. For instance, some of the women we work with have used savings made for not using kerosene, after getting the Mwangabora solar lamps made by youth, to set up bee keeping business and are now packaging and selling their honey.
Mwangabora solar lamps are made locally from locally available recycled materials such as scrap metals, and broken solar panels, are customized to suit different cultural and social lifestyles. They are made by local youth with informal education with basic tools.
We are particularly concerned about youth and women because they are the most disadvantaged in Africa. By working with local youth, we provide working spaces and tools where they not only learn to make Mwangabora lights, but they also use the space to make improved cookstoves, among other products. And then we go ahead and train women to also set up biogas plants when they have income from their businesses. This creates a completely sustainable model that changes livelihoods forever.
Our program, Use Solar, Save Lives is unique in that it provides skills, creates employment locally, creates businesses for youth and women, and enhances energy innovation at local level. We believe no other venture has managed to successfully combine this using an energy product as a tool to create improved sustainable livelihoods among low income communities especially in rural areas.
We involve rural women and unemployed youths without even basic formal education set up and successfully run modern agribusiness activities that require formal education is creative;
We let the rural beneficiaries be the designers, modelers, implementers and key decision-makers of all the activities of by the project, with no or limited external influence is creative.