Our Project Manager for Kenya, Victor Koyier, gives us an insightful update on how the team are getting on, what keeps them motivated, and the hurdles they face distributing solar lights across the country:
There’s more than meets the eye when we talk about the school campaigns project. It’s harder than it looks to ensure that each and every household is lit with the solar light! It is an honor and privilege for each of us to be a part of the SunnyMoney team that is bringing positive changes to the urban and rural communities by banishing kerosene lanterns from our homes.
We have a fantastic Kenyan team that because of their hard work, tireless efforts and personal dedication, have championed the distribution and use of solar into the most rural parts of Kenya. Two key members of the office who support the field team are our call centre ladies; Doris Wamune and Immaculate Wanjohi. Here are a few words from their experiences:
“Making outbound calls means you meet different kinds of characters. The new model introduced of issuing incentives was a brilliant idea because the head teachers were motivated and worked hard to attain the required points needed for them to get the incentive. I’m very glad we sold 60,000 lights to date and I believe it was as a result of embracing teamwork and proper coordination. Yes we can, together!”
“There’s no better way to start the day than checking sales updates from yesterday and realising actual sales have doubled or even tripled the projections. The campaign has stirred a lot of excitement, motivation and a sense of appreciation among the headteachers. They humbly express their deep gratitude and encourage us to ‘continue the good work’. It’s not a smooth path, but amid the pressures, every evening I go home humbled that at least one pupil will not use a kerosene light to do his/her homework, at least one ‘mama’ will not use a kerosene lamp for lighting when preparing a meal, at least one family will enjoy quality time together in the evening.”
As a team in the field (shown in the top photo; Dennis Kongere, Hudson Mungafu, Paul Macharia, Felix Wachira and Dennis Chege), we’ve covered thousands of miles – climbing the valleys, negotiating sharp risky bends, and cruising on the rough terrains. We thank the team back in the office as they gave us immeasurable support by scheduling deliveries, supporting us and encouraging us. Thank you, and keep up the spirit! From the rain, the muddy roads and all the people we met, it was a great experience throughout the sale days. We remember a headteacher by the name of Mr. Biwot who had an order of 175 units on our first week of sales, which was quite wonderful! It lifted our spirits so we could see the change that we were orchestrating in the community. Being able to sell 30,000 lights in 8 weeks wouldn’t have been possible without our fantastic team in the office and especially a big kudos to our call centre team for the wonderful work and for all the roles that they have played.
All these hurdles we’ve passed have been driven by our passion and the vision of SolarAid; to eradicate the use of kerosene in Africa by 2020. We also enjoy the field travels; getting to interview teachers who have changed the lives of their pupils through solar lights and even interact with different tribes, making us understand their culture and languages. As a team we believe that we are in a world of possibilities, so… go team, go! To our dedicated and hardworking team in Kenya, big audacious claps are in order and let’s keep up the good work!
Follow Victor on Twitter: @KoyierVictor