How it all began

Building on the success of three pilot kiosks established around Lake Victoria by the OSRAM company and the Global Nature Fund, three organizations joined forces in 2011 to expand the project with the support of the European Union and Siemens Stiftung. As well as expanding the three existing kiosks, further solar kiosks were built at new locations near Lake Victoria. In addition to its role in promoting the project, Siemens Stiftung decided to offer continuing education programs around the WE!Hubs.

What has been achieved since the program began?

  • Existing hubs expanded with new equipment

    The existing hubs have been expanded to include computer rooms and many new, improved products. The hubs have also introduced a bar code system that enables them to monitor the products, such as lanterns, that are rented out. This means the hubs can regularly recharge the equipment and protect it from too much wear and tear. 

  • Entrepreneurship training and mentoring program launched

    Regular training sessions address entrepreneurship, business management, interpersonal skills, customer service and financial management, as well as how to handle information and use communications media. This is followed by a six-month mentoring and coaching program that accompanies trainees on their path to becoming successful entrepreneurs. The program has trained some 500 self-employed and young people in Mbita alone.

  • Newly built WE!Hubs opened

    The first newly-built Water-Energy Hub was ceremoniously opened in Honge, a fishing village by Lake Victoria, on March 10, 2014. The local population celebrated this event together with representatives from the organizations involved: Light for Life, the Global Nature Fund, OSRAM, Thames Electricals, Siemens Stiftung and the European Union. It provides access to renewable energy, clean drinking water, computers and the internet, as well as the opportunity to take part in training and continuing education programs, giving people in Honge new opportunities for the future. The WE!Hubs in Sori, Ragwe and Homa Bay opened in the course of 2015.

Future plans

We are currently in a transition period, but our plans foresee that each fully-equipped solar station will become operationally and financially independent.