Lighting Up Hope In Uganda

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  • #Employment

Lighting Up Hope In Uganda

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Impact Employment 20% Environment 40% Energy 40%
ATS Uganda
Impact Employment Environment Energy

Source: Josh Lord

Mr. Joseph Wanume is from Uganda. If you look around Kampala, the capital city of Uganda, you can see tall buildings, cars, and most importantly bright lights all over the place. Despite this, there are Ugandan people that are under different situations, scraping by with little to no electricity.

“My mum moved to rural Uganda when I was young.  I lived with my mom in our village for 21 years. During that time, electricity was a rarity. People who had it better used kerosene lamps to light their homes. For most of us, we used to put kerosene in plates and containers, and used cloth to make a makeshift candle.”

Source: FINCA  

Being brought up in such a village, Joseph was interested in social service and changing lives. One day, Joseph had the opportunity to offer a small solar energy kit to his mother as a gift. He now considers this as his first venture into the field of solar panels.

“I’ve never seen a light that bright in our house until then. We always used kerosene candles to light our houses. It was groundbreaking. Not only that, but my mom also was so happy and excited about her new lights. As I saw that, I felt that I had found a way to help people that had no electricity like our village.” 

With this experience firm in his mind, Joseph started working for a solar panel company. However, as time went by, he found himself unable to serve the rural villages that desperately needed panels. Because of this, Joseph left his job to start his project, Access to Solar in 2016.

The first thing that Joseph worked on was setting costs to be affordable for rural Uganda. The factors that contribute to their lack of electricity is not only due to remote locations, but also the fact that they simply cannot afford to set up and use electricity.

“Small solar panels are cheap and easy to use. It is a perfect fit for rural villages in Uganda. If you factor in the additional benefit of not having to purchase kerosene every month, then the cost of solar panels becomes even cheaper.”

The importance of accessible electricity cannot be stressed enough, Joseph asserts. To him, electricity is the key for Ugandans to live better lives. He believes that providing every household with solar panels and easy access to power is what ultimately makes them empowered and self-sustainable.

“전기가 가져오는 변화는 전구에 불을 켜는 정도에서 끝나는 게 아니에요. 그 전구로 해가 진 다음에도 공부하거나 일할 수 있고, 또 라디오나 휴대전화도 기존보다 훨씬 편하게 사용할 수 있으니 기회의 불균형도 해소할 수 있게 됩니다.”

With Access to Solar, Joseph is trying to bring not only solar panels but also equal opportunities for everyone in Uganda. Join in on Joseph’s journey of lighting up Uganda!

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