Peruvian women install solar panels and light up their communities | UNDP Office in Geneva

In 2011, Reina Isabel Humiri Mamani (41), who has two children and two grandchildren, realized that, sometimes, to make a right decision, you have to break stereotypes, overcome fears and invest in knowledge. Although her mother, brothers, and some people in her community (Tacalaya) were against the idea, she accepted to take part in the Barefoot College programme, travelled to India for six months, and learned that electricity can be obtained by sunlight with the help of solar panels.In December 2011, Reina together with four other women from Candarave, left for Barefoot College. This institution brings rural women together from around the world to Tilonia, a village in India, to share life experiences and most importantly, learn how to install and maintain solar panels – devices that convert solar radiation into electric energy – and thus improve daily life in their communities.”At first I was afraid, because I knew what would happen. My family was sad, and in the community, they believed that it wasn’t true that I would come back to help, once I left. ‘My you’re so brave’, they said,” Reina said to ConexiónCOP.Before leaving, the inhabitants of the Candarave communities, starting from 6 in the afternoon – at sunset – were experiencing constant problems due to the lack of light. “I decided to travel to India so that I could have electricity. We used to cook or care for animals at night and children would study using the light of candles and lights. But we had to buy kerosene and would inhale the smoke, which caused us trouble breathing,” Reina explained.

Source: Peruvian women install solar panels and light up their communities | UNDP Office in Geneva

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