"The NGO implemented the project Engaging rural grandmothers in solar electrification of their own village. GEF SGP support has allowed our organization to demonstrate locally what is done as training at the Barefoot College. In 2008, we got funds from the Norwegian Church Aid and sent 4 women in India for training.
After their return and success to install solar panels in their villages, we used them as trainers for 4 other women from another village with GEF SGP support (in 2009). The training went well and it was a real success. We then ordered solar panels from Barefoot College and the locally trained women could electrify 70 houses in their village. We are really proud of that. We thank the GEF SGP for having taken the risk to let the women who went to India be trainers for their fellow in another village.
With the GEF SGP support the community reduced dependency on kerosene and firewood as sources of energy for lighting. In addition, the social economic welfare of the 4 trained women was improved. They earn monthly salary from repairing solar systems. The availability of solar energy electricity enabled rural women to engage in extra income generating activities such as weaving, making basket mats, beads and necklaces. New income generating activities are also expected given the availability of solar energy. The academic performance of school girls was improved. Community members especially women feel safer at night,... The project is also helping us to increase awareness on the importance of solar energy in boasting socio – economic welfare among the rural women.
There are so many benefits and we are now replicating the project in other areas with different donors without being obliged to send women to India again.
We also appreciate the way we interact with GEF SGP staff. They are ready to help any time. They even give us advices on how to mobilize more funds and build partnership. We were also trained on GEF SGP project management and had the opportunity to meet with all the organizations that have received GEF SGP funds. I also had an opportunity to share experiences with other NGOs in the East Africa when I was representing GEF SGP Rwanda at the GEF meeting in Nairobi in 2011. It was very interesting."