Description of the project: The project used a “learn and build methodology” of awareness training on gender integration in climate change adaptation, water management, access to sustainable energy, waste management, and sustainable farming methods in selected communities. The projects were led by women champions, government officials in Gauteng, Limpopo and the Western Cape, NGOs, and village leaders. Mostly the women farmers undertook a process of skills training and capacity building in the installation, of biogas digesters, PVC solar units and water harvesting tanks.

Climate Impact: By using a learn and build methodology led by women, the project empowers the resilience of women living in poverty to adapt to the negative impacts of climate change. Skills include 1) learning to be able to install, maintain and use renewable energy, such as biogas digesters and solar panel photovoltaic power units; 2) water harvesting for irrigation and establishment of food gardens for energy security, and 3) increased access to water and food security.

Gender Impact: The project has enhanced women’s decision making powers. They lead and manage the project. Women champions have formed cooperatives to run the project, and save money from selling garden produce. The “learn and build” methodology has enabled women to use and maintain the installed technologies. A participatory approach and ongoing capacity building has been important both ensuring that the beneficiaries have “buy in” in all aspects of the project cycle and for conflict resolution. It has given women extra time to do other activities including beading, exchanging information about how best to package and sell their produce, counseling each other, giving each other tips on economic empowerment and strategizing on other income generating projects such as packaging their produce and herb processing.