Walakira Grace, a married mother who lives in Mbalala, Uganda, is a FINCA BrightLife client. She and her children rely on BrightLife’s clean energy, solar lamps to be able to complete their schoolwork. She also relies on FINCA loans to be able to pay for school fees to educate her children.
“I struggled to pay for their education,” she says. “We were getting school fees from FINCA.”
The solar lanterns are especially helpful when FINCA clients are sensitive to financing. Where sustaining a kerosene lantern might cost 500 shillings (less than USD 1) per day or more, the solar lantern relies only on sunlight.
Walakira and her family find the solar lamps incredibly helpful for reading, doing homework, preparing meals, looking for things and gathering as a family. As she says, “Because I do not buy sunshine, there isn’t any cost that I incur.”
The solar lanterns are not the only BrightLife product that she benefits from. Walakira recently got the FINCA BrightLife clean cookstove—that can even charge a cell phone while cooking! The new cookstove uses half of the amount that the traditional 3-stone open fire method of cooking requires. Walakira enjoys using the new stove, as “you can cook five kettles plus without any difficulty” and “it gets ready in a very short time.”
The cookstove is much more efficient, taking less energy and less time, allowing women and girls who cook food to get on with their day. The system is also safer, reducing the amount of smoke in kitchens and the danger of open flames that can burn young children.
Over time, we save money because sunshine is free.