Last week i was travelling through Eastern Uganda, Tororo and Mbale in particular. In Tororo i found three women supported by MIFUMI who assemble solar lamps.

Rhoda Oketcho, Auma Odio and Magaret Opio took a six months course in Solar engineering in India in 2008. They are rural women without much education but with skills from India they are able to assemble lamps and make a decent living. I visited their small workshop and they said they earn atleast 60,000 shillings (USD 23 ) per month. In most of rural Uganda families use kerosene lamps for lighting, some homes cannot afford it and it pauses health risks.

Looking at these women’s work reminded me of the death of technical institutes in this country on the government’s watch. It is difficult to find places that impart skills for Ugandans who cannot afford a university education. Even for university graduates, many employers are struggling to find skilled ones.

Below are the three women at work.

Magaret Opio (55 yrs)
Magaret Opio (55 yrs)

Anna Odoi
Anna Odoi (60 years)
Rhoda
Rhoda (53 years)

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Women fixing a solar panel
Women fixing a solar panel