Clean energy like solar has not only environmental benefits but also has the potential to increase income and create more jobs for women and men. Take the example of solar-powered sewing machines installed in a workshop owned by Ms Farangis Makhkamov in the Shahrinav district of Tajikistan, who now trains school children and girls in sewing skills.
Makhkamova started the Sewing Workshop to provide training on tailoring. She purchased necessary sewing equipment and materials, but unstable electricity was a big challenge for running her venture. With support from the Energy Access SME's Development project of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), funded by the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) financing facility, things have changed. The project supported her financially to install a photovoltaic system of 1 kilowatt in the free space on the rooftop of the training centre. Now Mahkamov runs her workshop without any power disruption. Most of the participants are young girls from her community who are better equipped with vocational skills which also allow them to make friends and enjoy their free time productively.
"I started my workshop in my own house for fun, but now it has turned into a business venture for me and also a small training centre for young girls where they learn tailoring and pass good times. The uninterrupted electricity is helping me to run the workshop smoothly. I plan to scale it up in the future so that more girls can attend and contribute to the economy for their families and communities," says Makhkamov.