Providing microfinance services to the impoverished women living in the remote areas of Malawi is challenging as many are illiterate, but they are willing to learn. The children are frequently undernourished, and many will not be educated past 6th grade. The village will not have electricity, water on tap, or sanitary facilities. Despite this, our clients are entrepreneurial and work hard to build their own businesses so that they can provide food, health care and education for the family.
The solar light project solves three main problems:
Provides a female client with a desirable product that she can sell in her area - providing income and a sense of empowerment.
Provides a source of light in the home which allows students to complete homework, and family members to read, sew or pursue an evening pastime.
Provide a cheaper, cleaner and more safe source of light than the commonly used kerosene lamps.
The women selling the lights as a business will enjoy increased income. This will allow for better nutrition, healthcare and secondary education for their children.
The women purchasing the lights will have extra money available as they will not need to purchase kerosene. The cost of kerosene for two months will purchase a solar light lasting one year.
50 women selling the lights will have an impact on at least 350 people, as on average each woman has 5 children.
This project has provided additional documentation in a Microsoft Word file (projdoc.doc).