We have recently put together a team of ‘Solar Awareness Raisers’ to provide solar technology advice and education to rural Cambodian households and inform them about the introduction of the first ever quality assurance scheme for solar products in the country.
The scheme was created by the AFD/EU-funded Solar Microfinance Programme. Given the low awareness of solar technology in rural areas as well as the low trust and misconceptions, the Awareness Raisers fulfill the crucial function of making solar technology better known and stimulate demand for the products.
55 weeks of awareness raising ‘road shows’ are being organised, in close collaboration with certified solar suppliers. This way, the programme will reach out to more than 100,000 community members through school engagement, women groups and evening community events. All activities are designed to be highly interactive, engaging and entertaining, and build on tried-and-proven adult learning methodologies for solar education.
Through the Women Group component of the campaign, up to 350 women participate in three afternoon events per week to discuss energy challenges in their communities and learn about solar technology as a potential solution. During a product demonstration, women can observe the functioning of a solar home system first-hand, and also discuss negative experiences their friends and relatives may have had in the past with low-quality solar products. Technically skilled staff facilitate the group meetings to provide sound advice, and to explain the quality assurance work of the Good Solar™ Initiative.