Lighting Up Hope and Communities
A university research centre, a women’s cooperative, an NGO and experts on solar technology will launch a cooperative business that will produce and market solar products made from recycled solar cells and solar cookers adapted for local needs.
Lighting up Hope and Communities aims to become a model for the creation of a financially self-sustaining business selling renewable energy products. Mujeres Solares de Totogalpa is a motivated group of women who are determined to improve the quality of life for themselves and their families in rural North West Nicaragua.
Working in partnership with a university research centre, an NGO and experts on solar technology, they are aiming to set up a co-operative enterprise, Lighting Up Hope and Communities, producing photovoltaic panels from recycled solar cells, solar cookers and dryers, and solar cooked/ dried food products and medicinal plants. These products will be made at and sold from a new Solar Center in the community.
The partnership expects the production centres to become completely self-sufficient, and expand to support other community development projects within 5 years. It also aims to support local, regional and national outreach and education efforts to bring this renewable energy development model to other communities.
- provide infrastructure and assistance for the production of new energy technologies, through an ongoing exchange with universities, scientists, sociologists as well as national and international volunteer professionals.
- work with rural communities as equal partners, to develop alternative energy strategies in a manner that respects the local needs and circumstances.
- launch a non-profit cooperative in order to produce and sell solar products, using local community members with expertise in construction of solar panels, cookers and dryers and in preparing solar cooked/dried food products and medicinal plants.
- offering educational courses in solar technology to the community and conduct formal training to increase the number of skilled technicians available to meet increased demand.