After six months of training seven women returned from India’s Barefoot College this week, armed with skills in solar electrification.
It is believed that with these skills, the women will be in a better position to tackle the prevailing power woes, and most critically, light up their villages, which are currently outside the electricity grid.
The women, who range from illiterate to semi-literate, are from Ngwatle village in Kgalagadi North, as well as Poloka and Mokgenene villages situated in the Central District.
Their six months training resulted from a partnership between the Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) and the Indian High Commission. HRDC Communications and marketing manager, Faith Tuelo, said the training was an endeavour to bring solutions to the power woes in the country, as well develop a spirit of promoting life-long learning.
“The project is as a way of promoting education for sustainable development and lifelong learning in Botswana. It is also meant to diversify skills as well as empower rural women as they are hardest hit by lack of income generating opportunities,” she said.
Tuelo added that the skills the women acquired would help them electrify their villages, which are currently off the grind and electrification not planned for in the near future. Moreover, they have already formed community trusts to impart the skills to others, as well as operate as an income-generating project to uplift their livelihoods.
“The partnership entails skills training program that will transform the lives of women in their communities. The Barefoot College solar program aims to empower women by enabling them to become entrepreneurs,” she said.
When speaking during their send-off ceremony in March this year, HRDC acting chief executive officer, Patrick Molutsi asserted that they were committed to community development. “HRDC’s mandate entails the education and training pipeline as defined by the National Human Resource Development Strategy.