Albertina Faída, local entrepreneur of solar charging station in Nacololo, Cabo Delgado Province
It was a particularly hot day when the long-awaited solar panels finally arrived to the small village of Nacololo, Cabo Delgado Province. Albertina Faída, 41 years, followed their installation to her backyard with great attention. Mother of four, she was among the 41 local entrepreneurs trained in managing and maintaining a solar charging station. “I applied for the training because I needed a job. My husband and I were farmers but we were having a hard time in securing our living, The only things we could buy with our little money was a bit of soap and salt. Our two older children of 26 and 18 years had to drop out of school because we couldn’t afford the secondary school fees,” she recalls.
Seeing the first clients come in to her new working premises filled her with hope. “Maybe this will be answer to my worries?” she thought at the time. Today, Albertina has a regular set of clients who charge lanterns and cell phones at her solar charging station. Her business prospers. The income generated through the charging and renting services has been life changing. “Thanks to it, I have been able to employ people to take care of our machamba (farm) and increase our crops,” she explains.
“The extra income has also allowed me to expand my businesses into new areas: I now have my own market stand selling various goods at the market. Next year, I will be able to recruit more people to take care of my stand and expand my machamba.”
In addition to generating new income for local community-based associations and solar charging station managers, the project is slowly but surely also brining about wider social change. “We finally built a new house last year and my children went back to school. I also bought a motorbike for myself!” Albertina reveals. “I am also learning to read and write at the project’s literacy classes,” she continues. “This will help me better manage my businesses.”