The Empowered Communities Network, which is managed by Tostan’s Department of Support for Development, assists communities in setting up local partnerships and services in line with their priorities following the completion of the Tostan program.
From January 7 to 11, the Department of Support for Development team undertook a five-day trip to Kolda and Kaolack where they distributed solar kits to two villages – Kibassa in the Kolda region and the village of Keur Sanou in the region of Kaolack, as part of Tostan’s Solar Power! Project.
In 2011, two women from these villages, Lamarana Bâ and Fatou Diouf, had travelled to the Barefoot College in India for six months to be trained as solar engineers. Following that training, Tostan France, Tostan’s sister organization, raised funds for 102 solar kits to be distributed to these communities through a partnership with TEEFA Lighting Senegal and Barefoot Power. The value of each kit is 15 000 FCFA ($30).
During the distribution of the solar kits, Dame Gueye, the Head of Tostan’s Department of Support for Development, undertook a demonstration of the kits. The demonstration began with the contents of the kit which consisted of a solar panel, a rechargeable and malleable lamp and a cellphone charger. This was followed by a discussion around possible uses, as well as things to avoid.
Following the presentation, some of the participants shared what they would be using the new technology for and said that it would enable children to do homework in the evenings as well as help mothers who are breastfeeding at night.