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Voices from Project Switch

Dalitso Judith Kudala, Project Switch Coordinator.

“I have always had passion for people, especially in the rural communities. I love my job because I get to be one of the people to reach out to the community with clean energy thereby improving their lives and help in combatting poverty.”

Dalitso Judith Kudala has worked as a Coordinator for two years at Project Switch, a solar charging and renting station which provides clean light to the whole village of Mandevu in Malawi. Dalitso is not from Mandevu, but she recalls being a child and studying by paraffin lamps which was the only lighting source in her home at the time.

“Project Switch is a significant and transforming programme to the rural areas. It has given an opportunity to rural communities to have access to clean energy at an affordable price. I have seen this community being transformed. They are now using solar lights.”

Dalitso together with the Project Switch Technician, Blessings Mbewe.

SolarAid launched ‘Project Switch’ in 2019 together with the community in Mandevu. Our research had shown that the most common forms of lighting in the village were candles and battery powered torches and many households in the village reported having suffered accidents and burns because of the use of dangerous lighting sources.

There is an improvement in the security in the community,” says Dalitso. “Before, the only lighting source was candles, batteries and paraffin lamps which was harmful to their lives. For instance there was one house that got burnt with a candle and a child was harmed.”

Mandevu at late aftenoon.

Project Switch is currently servicing about 500 households with solar light. From our first reports of “Project Switch”, we can see that access to clean light has transformed the community on many different levels, something Dalitso confirms,

“After launching Project Switch, we can see there is improved health which has been recorded through low rate on illness and accidents that happen due to dangerous lighting sources. The project has also given knowledge to the community on the use of clean energy. We can see that education has been improved. Students are able to study in their homes and the pass rate since we launched the programme has gone up.”

Dalitso, who dreamed of  saving lives and working as a Medical Doctor when she was a child says, “I am still saving lives by reaching people with clean energy. My dream now is to make sure this whole area have access to solar lights.”

Innovative project such as Project Switch transforms communities. With solar light, everything changes.

Businesses in Mandevu can keep open longer with the access to solar lighting.