Plan International trains solar light sales agents
In celebrating their forty (40) years of partnership with the Government of Sierra Leone, Plan International Sierra Leone on Tuesday 3rd May, 2016 launched the youth livelihood project called ‘Solar Lamps’ in one-day training session of 45 youths from different districts in the country at the organization’s conference room in Freetown.
The youths trained for the project were from Kailahun and Port Loko district, as well as the Western Area.
In his statement, Plan International Sierra Leone Country Director, Casely Ato Coleman, assured that they would be sustaining and consolidating their programmes in education, healthcare, child protection, water and sanitation, and livelihood and human resources development in line with President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma’s Agenda for Prosperity with focus on the social protection component of the post-Ebola priorities for the 10-24 months’ period.
Mr. Ato Coleman pointed out that livelihood is one of the main pillars of their organization for the post-Ebola recovery strategy.
“In partnership with Plan International Denmark,” he added, “we are providing empowerment support for the youth through the sale of natural light project”.
The Country Director said the 45 sales’ agents will initially kick-start with 5,000 solar lamps as a pilot and hopes to scale up to cover 1,000 youths who will sell 50,000 solar lamps.
Mr. Coleman disclosed that natural light is being manufactured by a German owned solar energy company for sale in Europe and the world over, noting that Sierra Leone is the twelfth (12th) country in Africa for the sale of the light which he said is designed to provide employment for the trained youths and benefit users in accessing sustainable source of light for multiple purposes.
He said the natural light has two years warranty by the company and a day charge in the sun that can last for two days, pointing out that the first group of 45 will be training other sales’ agents as the business grows with the German based company.
The Country Director disclosed that the German company has expressed willingness to supply on demand through placement of purchase order as the trained sales’ agents will be organized into entrepreneur groups with an account where the proceeds deposited and twenty percent (20%) as their tokens on each light sold.
The Plan boss expressed optimism that the innovative project will improve the Livelihood of the young people as they intend investing more resources on that.
The Minister of Youth Affairs, Bai Mahmoud Bangura, complimented Plan for what they have done for women and youths in Sierra Leone, while he encouraged them to do more.
The Youth Minister considered his invitation to the event not only an honour for him, but it also has to do with youth empowerment.
He admonished participants to take the training seriously by concentrating and being attentive to the training instead of the resources therein as the knowledge gained would have the potential to make a permanent change in their lives.
Edius Makano, a Zimbabwean, said his country was the first to implement the solar lamp project and that he was in Sierra Leone to share his experience with the participants.
He recalled the paths he had traveled as an unemployed youth to the coveted position of Managing Director of Alight Zimbabwe.
The Zimbabwean also recalled years back when he was called to a similar training and with commitment, effort and understanding; he was able to make life out of the training.
The training was facilitated by Little Sun Company, an institution on micro finance.
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