Malawi’s Solar Women

MicroLoan enjoys acknowledging the amazing success stories of our clients who as a result of our loans and training, have gone on to set up their own businesses to support their families. Furthermore, we feel it is great to share the success stories and experiences of our many volunteers, supporters and staff across the world who have seen for themselves the impact their work has in Africa. Read on to learn more about how we really offer “a hand up, not a hand out.”

With just 8% of Malawians connected to a national grid and even that becoming increasingly unreliable of late, MicroLoan has been developing some new business opportunities for the women we help to benefit from solar energy.

Imagine being totally constrained by nature for the ability to read or to undertake certain critical tasks, just because it is after 6pm? This is the reality for many women and their families in Africa, with their only lighting up until now being from kerosene lamps and candles. These not only offer poor light, but also have a whole host of health problems associated with them. Kerosene lamps are huge contributor to respiratory problems, particularly amongst children and are the cause of horrendous burns and even fatalities if accidentally knocked over, as is easily done in cramped conditions. Candles can also prove dangerous and are a relatively costly expense every day.

Enter clean, safe and reliable solar energy.

MicroLoan has set up nine new women as solar entrepreneurs in and around the Kasungu area. The product consists of a small 1.5w solar panel, an LED light, a mobile phone battery charger and battery pack which stores the solar energy. It has been specifically designed for poor rural settings. 

Soflet - Malawi Solar Women                                             

The women were selected on the basis of their successful business backgrounds and their ability to sell new products well. The women attended a two and a half day training workshop in Kasungu during which time they learned how their panels worked, how to repair faulty units, how to charge clients mobile batteries, how to find clients and how to record their sales.

If you would like to support a different approach to charity, and give more women a hand up, not a hand out, please donate today. Thank you for your support.