SolarAid – Power to the People, Malawi
SolarAid is a young dynamic charity that is harnessing the power of the sun to change people's lives. SolarAid is dedicated to creating solar energy systems for communities with little, infrequent or no access to electricity.
TRAID has committed over £147,000 to train people living with HIV/AIDS in Malawi to build and market solar powered devices like lanterns and radios. The project aims to empower people to generate a sustainable and environmentally friendly income for themselves, their families and communities.
Right now, staff on the ground in Malawi are being being trained to pass on technical skills, electronic theory and marketing techniques to sell finished goods. As well as creating livlihoods, the benefits of solar powered technologies reduce the dependence of rural communities on burning kerosene, helping to reduce carbon emissions and protect health.
Although the project is in its early stages, with the support of TRAID, SolarAid has already successfully trained 11 young people affected by HIV/AIDS who have gone on to form a solar business called KASSOB. To date they have sold over 40 products to their local community. This exciting young enterprise is also seizing opportunities to create additional income including the provision of charging facilities for local people to power essentials like batteries and phones. It's a fantastic indicator of what could be achieved over the next two years.