A loan of $2,525 helped to access clean, reliable, solar energy for AFRIpad employees.

Afripads's story

In 2009, a unique company called AFRIpads was established in Uganda. Set up to help girls and women deal with their period in a dignified, affordable way, the company was distinctive in that it manufactures reusable sanitary pads in Uganda rather than importing them.

Currently, AFRIpads employs over 40 local Ugandan women from rural areas who are pivotal both in the manufacturing process, and ultimately responding to the needs of girls who could not afford sanitary pads and were missing school during their periods.

These women live in a small village called Kitengeesa about 3 hours’ drive from Kampala, which is off-grid with only basic facilities. With no access to power, they risk respiratory problems, fires and burns by depending on kerosene lamps for lighting in their homes and have to pay for their mobile phones to be charged which is a high cost luxury for them given the limited power supply.

AFRIpads approached Fenix International, a renewable energy company, to help provide their employees with access to clean, safe and affordable lighting plus empower them to generate additional income from phone charging. Fenix designs and manufacturers the ReadySet Solar Charger, a high quality, easy to use solar system that comes with a 15watt solar panel and provides up to 30 hours of lighting or charge up to 10 phones a day. The ReadySet allows a household to generate income of up to $50 per month by charging phones and generating savings by removing the need to purchase kerosene. They ReadySet is also capable of providing reliable energy to power other devices such as radios and hair clippers.

Gorreth, an AFRIpad employee (pictured with her light and also shown with her fellow employees), has been testing the ReadySet Solar Charger in her small shop in the village, which she runs next to her AFRIpads job. With the new light, she has been able to keep her shop open for longer in the evening, helping her sell even more products plus she now makes additional income from offering phone charging to the village community for a small fee. She lives in her shop as well and having a light will make her life safer, so much so, she wants to buy one for her parents as well.

Thanks to Kiva, Fenix will be able to supply their ReadySet Solar Charger on loan to AFRIpads’ employees, who can pay on affordable monthly installments over a year-long period. Payments are deducted directly from their pay slips each month, leaving them with profits and savings generated from the ReadySet Solar Charger to help improve their lives.

Loan details

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Loan details