Workshop for Regenerative Energy Technologies and an Ecological Demo House
Financial Assistance for Self-Employment
SOFIs WORLD - Social Finance is a in 2012 established foundation and active in Kenya, with the purpose of promoting environmental protection, development cooperation as well as education and training. The aim is to enable people to lead independent and self-reliant lives through training and financial support. This is to be achieved in the areas of energy and water supply, handicrafts, trade, and food production based on ecological and economic sustainability.
- Total Volume: 4,000 – 7,000 € annually
- Duration: yearly projects since 2013
- Project region: Taita Hills, Coast Province, Kenya
- Project partner: SOFIs WORLD with its local partner Biogas Taita Ltd. and IRUWA Centre for Innovation & Applied Technology
Financial support from the URBIS Foundation
With the support of SOFIs WORLD, over 550 biogas plants for small farming families, but also for schools, orphanages and other social institutions have been built until 2019. Over 100 artisans have been trained, of whom around 40 are still involved in the biogas sector. At the beginning of 2016, a production workshop for solar thermal systems was built, which, in addition to production and sales, trains skilled workers. Currently, there are five artisans working there and apprentices are being trained. Linked to this is the comprehensive dissemination of information and education of the population about environmental protection, conservation of resources, health care, agriculture and hygiene.
Within the project partnership with URBIS, the following projects have been carried out in recent years:
1. Pilot Project Biogas Plants
In 2014, SOFIs WORLD launched a pilot project as part of the URBIS funding scheme, in which Kenyan farmers were accompanied by support groups in the construction of biogas plants. In the so-called Merry-Go-Round groups, farmers pay small amounts over a set period of time. Every month, the total amount collected is paid out in rotation to a member of the group to purchase their own biogas plant. The project facilitated access to biogas plants and reduced inhibitions to borrowing. In addition, SOFIs WORLD has built over 500 biogas plants for households and various social institutions, and the SOFIs WORLD Demo House (see below) is now also supplied with biogas as cooking energy.
2. IRUWA Renewable Energy Workshop
In 2016, the Foundation succeeded in acquiring a plot of land in the Taita Hills in Kenya, where a 120 sqm workshop for the production of renewable energy technologies, in particular biogas and solar thermal, was built. In addition to production, the workshop promotes the training of local artisans and sells its products in the region.
By spreading the use of renewable energies, such as solar thermal systems, the already extremely reduced forest cover in the region is protected, new jobs are created and the economic power of farming families is strengthened. With the support of URBIS, information and marketing events have been organised to educate large parts of the population about environmental protection and economics.
3. Development and Expansion of the SOFIs WORLD Demo House
In addition to the workshop, an ecological model house - the SOFIs WORLD Demo House was established in Taita Hills, Coast Province in 2017. This demo house serves
- to demonstrate renewable and ecological energy systems as well as house and garden technology
- as a practical application example for various renewable energy technologies
- to accommodate local and international students and volunteers
- as a conference centre for politics, science and business
Regular information events in this meeting house should improve the acceptance of renewable energies and thus promote their use in households.
4. Marketing Office for Solar Thermal Energy
A sales office for marketing and sales of solar thermal systems in the SOFIs WORLD house in the Taita Hills not only demonstrates and explains, for example, the different solar systems, it also increases the turnover of sales through intensified marketing and improves the teaching conditions for the participants of information events through more space.
Voices from the Project:
I'm working in the IRUWA workshop since the beginning in 2016. After my internship I worked in the production and now I also do marketing. The new marketing office in 2018 helped a lot to improve selling. SOFIs WORLD helped me with a loan when my father died and now, I can support my family with my labour payment.
Artisan Athuman Mwagogo
The SOFIs WORLD Foundation has been supported by the URBIS Foundation with an annual grant since 2013.