In sub-Saharan Africa, hundreds of millions of people live without electricity. Women often cook over indoor fires, and children study by the light of kerosene lamps. But burning wood and fuel pollutes homes and warms the climate.
So one organization helps women in Nigeria and Tanzania bring clean and renewable energy to their communities.
“They themselves are kind of the best ambassadors for clean energy,” says Fid Thompson of Solar Sister.
The nonprofit helps women start businesses selling clean cook stoves, solar lamps, and other solar products. Solar Sister mentors the women and provides them with inventory.
Thompson says the saleswomen use the products themselves and can personally describe the benefits.
“They are really passionate about what clean energy can do for their communities,” she says.
For example, she says a clean cook stove frees up time for women who are usually disproportionately burdened with gathering wood or going to find charcoal.
It also saves the money spent buying fuel and improves family health by reducing indoor air pollution.
So these women are helping protect the climate and their communities and making money in the process.
Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.
Brooke Bauman is an intern at YCC and a student at UNC-Chapel Hill studying environmental science, geography, and journalism.