We are delighted to share Christine’s project and its impact in the community. Christine started her internship with FSD Uganda early in January 2019. Her internship lasted for a period of four months. During Christine’s internship with FSD Uganda, she selected to work with one of FSD’s partner organization called Access to Solar Technologies.
Access to Solar Technologies is a local social enterprise organization in Jinja, Uganda whose mission is to bring solar energy to disadvantaged communities in region. Christine focused her efforts on building a structured relationship between Access to Solar and the community that they serve. Through an in-depth community assessment, she assessed that the central priorities for Access to Solar were to build a better relationship with the community in order to foster education, strengthen trust, and understand more directly the village’s priorities.
Over the course of the internship, Christine developed a pilot program called the Village Solar Team to try to match the needs of the community with solar energy technologies. She worked with Access to Solar to select a village (Kagera Budondo) and a local member to partner with. The local community member was hired by Access to Solar as a VST representative to work in his community promoting awareness of solar energies and assessing their needs. She also helped to facilitate trainings for the VST representative in sales, technical skills including installations, and social impact. This had an added benefit of helping address the high unemployment rate among youth in Uganda.
Over the course of the internship, Christine, the VST representative, and the Access to Solar team invested time into moving door-to-door in Kagera to meet community members and share with them about solar technologies. They attended SACCO meetings and hosted a community launch event. Her efforts at Access to Solar helped avail solar energy in 14 households in the village, many of which was their first time ever with electricity. The pilot VST program is in its fifth month and will finish in July.