We work a lot in Africa. Men are ambitious and restless, and all they want is a certificate. And the moment you give them a certificate, they leave the village and go to the city. So we began training illiterate rural grandmothers to be engineers solar engineers. So far, we have trained 140 grandmothers in 100 villages in Africa, and they have solar-electrified about 10,000 homes. Not one has migrated to the city. Why would they leave? Their family is in the village.
The best way to communicate is not a telephone or telegraph. It's tell-a-woman. The bush telegraph is so strong, so powerful. Word of mouth really is the best way to communicate. Set an example. Show how it can spread.
The socioeconomic impact of solar-electrifying just one village is immense. People can work for three more hours because they have light. Children are reading and writing for the first time. Women can cook outdoors with a solar lantern, away from the smoky, cramped indoor kitchens that can cause asthma. The invisible spin-off effects that you get are absolutely extraordinary.
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