Social enterprise empowers women refugees to master efficient cooking and solar technologies

Country: Uganda

Organization: Safeplan Uganda

Representative: Annet Birungi

Email: birungiannet@yahoo.com


Description of the project: SAFEnergy Enterprises Uganda, a social enterprise, empowers refugee and HIV positive women with technical skills on energy efficient cooking technologies and entrepreneurship. 47 group leaders in refugee settlements have been trained to construct Rocket Lorena and shielded cooking stoves and to create their own small businesses. They have transferred their knowledge to 500 more women in the Arua camp and Karamoja host community. The 47 women led registered enterprises also market certified solar lamps to ensure sustainable income. Acquired leadership and managerial skills, as well financial autonomy, help resolve household conflicts over resources, improve women’s roles in decision making and reduce domestic violence.

Climate impact: Rocket Lorena stoves reduce fuel-wood consumption by 50-70%. Solar lamps and solar home systems replace diesel or kerosene. This saves CO2 emissions and prevents deforestation. Up to 1200 ha could be protected in the target areas. The technologies also reduce indoor pollution by 98%, an important health benefit for targeted local nurseries and schools. Construction is done with locally sourced materials that have a lower climate footprint and lower costs.

Gender impact: This project promotes gender equality and women’s rights through economic empowerment. Additional and stabilised income enables women to access health care services, immediate family needs and sometimes land property. Trainings integrate modules on rights and leadership. This results in women demanding more equitable resource sharing in the household and community and gives them the ability to resolve conflicts peacefully and avoid gender-based violence.

Scalability / replicability: This project is based on the use of widely spread, certified low-tech solutions that are easily replicable and can be applied anywhere with locally available materials. The entrepreneurship model is made accessible to very poor rural women as it does not require capital and ensures regular income from the sales of affordable, cost saving energy solutions. The women leaders groups ensure scalabilty and sustainability.