MONDAY 17 SEPTEMBER, 2012 |
More Solar Grandmothers Ready To Light Up Their Worlds
Ten women will soon return to Fiji to install solar power systems in their
communities after having studied solar installation at the Barefoot College of India.
Last year, we reported on two
from the island nation of Tonga installing solar in communities
in that nation without access to mains grid electricity, who were trained by the
In 2011, UN Women in partnership with the Barefoot College of India and the governments of Fiji, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Vanuatu, Kiribati and
Nauru kicked off the "Solar Grandmothers" initiative, which resulted in a
further 29 women from the region attending a six month solar training course.
As well as installing solar power systems, the Fijiian women - the nation's
first formally trained solar engineers - will also pass on their skills to
According to a joint release from Fiji's Ministry of Social Welfare, Women & Poverty Alleviation, UN Women, the Indian High Commission in Fiji and the Barefoot
College, reduced access to resources including energy hinders women's full participation in sustainable development.
Women and girls are disproportionately burdened by a lack of access to modern energy
sources in many countries and significant social and economic benefits can be realised by enhancing women's access to energy such as solar power.
"The solar engineers will be a great asset both now and in the future to lead the solar electrification projects to light up villages with hope, improved livelihood and their skills will be shared to multiply the benefits of this
initiative," reads part of the statement.
As well as being armed with the appropriate skills, with the support of UN Women, Barefoot College will supply 376
small household solar energy systems and 9 equipped workshops will be delivered and distributed to home communities of
Established in 1972, the Barefoot
is a non-government organisation that has been providing basic
services and solutions to problems in rural communities, with the objective of
making them self-sufficient and sustainable.
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