Description of Program Activities

Renewable Energy for the Empowerment of Mozambique Women and Girls (REEMWaG) was a composite project consisting of a community outreach development, technology transfer, and training and capacity building. Project activities were community driven and laid emphasis on the inclusion of women and girls both in decision making and project implementation. Details of specific project activities are given below.

1.1. Technology Transfer Activities

The objective of this activity was to increase access to modern technology for the dwellers of the rural community. It will be the beginning of the transformation of the rural community through the use of renewable energy. A village power unit consisting of photovoltaics (PV) with a generator backup was designed and installed in a selected village. The system was sized to provide power for meaningful community development activities, including providing power to a multifunction community center and computer literacy and adult education facilities. The choice of village power approach (as compared to distributed/stand alone systems) in introducing PV technology in the community was based on economic and access considerations. The integrated system serves a larger population more than would sprinkled systems available to only the few that can afford to purchase the system. In addition to supporting community facilities and utilities, the village power also provides a battery charging station for residential lighting systems. Thus proprietary, reliable solar powered rechargeable lanterns and small battery-only systems would provide household lighting, while shared facilities such as audio/video technology enable rural women to learn and work in an affordable developmentally-oriented environment.

The technology transfer activity also involved the installation of a computer laboratory for teaching rural young women and girls computer science and information technology. This laboratory provides a head start to an effort to bring the rural community in to the information age. It has paved the way for establishing a solar-powered internet-connected community center in the village. As funds become available the computer laboratory will be expanded to include more terminals, digital camera, graphic printers, a full suite graphics and video creativity software and will be integrated with other audiovisual facility of the community center, which include TV, VCR, camcorder, and satellite radio receiver. An expansion of the technology in the community center will include a satellite telephone with a special data connection that will provide a direct link to the worldwide Web for the village, which will provide full email services, basic Web connection, and global telephone access.

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