Through this community-based project, in Nepal and India, Karuna-Shechen is empowering women from poor isolated villages by training them to become solar technicians and bearers of the “light” in their community.
In selected villages, Karuna-Shechen meets with the community in order to choose female volunteers who will be trained in solar engineering at India’s Barefoot College or at our facilities in Kathmandu. The selection period is often arduous as village society is staunchly patriarchal and women participate very little in economic life.
Once their training is completed, the women return to their villages and install and maintain solar lighting systems, that transform everyday life in their villages:
-Household chores can be completed after the onset of evening.
-Old kerosene lamps, unhealthy and a fire hazard, have been replaced by a safer system.
-Children can do their homework after dark, giving them more time to study and, in the long run, become eligible for further education.
-Villagers can participate in social gatherings and activities after dark.
Thanks to this project, home solar lighting systems have already been installed in hundreds of homes across poor isolated villages in India and Nepal.