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The Real Endeavours of Last Mile Distribution

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These pictures were taken from one of SOLARKIOSK’s vehicles delivering products to the last mile in Kenya. After months of heavy rains, where the whole of East Africa experienced between 200-500% above average rainfall, our supply chain now slowly returns to business as usual, and seeing some of the positive results of the rain – fields of beautiful wild flowers.

 

 

 

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Charity Nosim Words of Wisdom for SOLARKIOSK

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If you have been following our recent stories, you will know that Charity Nosim is a 19-year-old cook at the local restaurant of the Olkiramatian CSMC (Connected Solar Market Center) in Kenya. The SOLARKIOSK CSMC has opened the world for her, giving her access to training and connecting her with the greater community of Olkiramatian.


During a recent visit to the CSMC, she excitedly shared some ideas and thoughts with us. Charity was thrilled to learn that there will soon be WiFi available at the CSMC, saying that “more people are becoming drawn in with free internet, so it would be a great way to bring more people to the area, to be more connected.” Moreover, Charity shared that “the upcoming vegetable store will be of great help for the kitchen here”, further saying “fresher produce will bring more value to the customers that come eat at our restaurant.” With the help of the innovative and entrepreneurial skills of Charity and her colleagues, the CSMC has been able to grow as a part of the community. Their ideas and enthusiasm bring great appreciation from the local community for the CSMC and its shops.
 
In her final comments, she presented a small request to the SOLARKIOSK team, “I was hoping to be able to buy Masai garments, shoes as well as beads in the future at the E-HUBB. This way more customers would come here, and also come eat at our restaurant. Then I can also happily buy my clothes here.”
 
It is thanks to the feedback and support from people like Charity, that allows SOLARKIOSK to evolve its ability to enable and empower.

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She is We Campaign at SOLARKIOSK in Kenya

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SOLARKIOSK has just been featured in the European Union’s “She is We” Campaign with a video highlighting the story of the kiosk operator in Maparasha, Kenya, which is co-financed by the EU through the Power Kiosk project. The project was one of five selected in Kenya to be featured in the campaign, in celebration of European Development Days 2018.

 

The goal of the “She is We” campaign is to draw attention to women and girls at the forefront of sustainable development by documenting the voices of beneficiaries of European Union-financed projects. The kiosk at Maparasha is one of 40 opened in Kenya in partnership with the EU. The video highlights the ways in which the kiosk has impacted the life its operator, Cecilia Lamei. Her voice from the field is a positive story of transformation told from a women’s perspective.

 

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SOLARKIOSK has been invited to participate in the EnRupt Energy Innovation Arena at the Power and Electricity World Philippines 2018.

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On the 23-24 May, we will present our solutions in Manila at the Philippines’ largest energy forum.
 
SOLARKIOSK’s E-HUBB is the ideal solution for businesses operating in the special topography in the Philippines – a country of over 7000 islands that are sometimes hard to reach with the electricity grid and much needed goods and services.
 
After implementing a number of E-HUBBs in Vietnam and Cambodia, we are looking forward to bringing more sustainable energy and business solutions to South East Asia through the E-HUBB.
 
We would like to welcome you to our booth (Y07) to discuss more about our E-HUBB and how it can help your business. Learn more about the Power and Electricity event at http://www.terrapinn.com/exhibition/power-electricity-world-philippines/index.stm.

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SOLARKIOSK speaks at the SEforALL Forum on Energy in Humanitarian Settings

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SOLARKIOSK AG CEO, Andreas Spiess, was invited by Sustainable Energy for All to provide insight on addressing energy needs in humanitarian settings at the annual Forum in Lisbon, Portugal.
 
Speaking on a panel alongside the Uganda Energy Minister, UNHCR, United Nations and MasterCard, Mr. Spiess said, “The challenge of the increasing refugee population is both a responsibility and an opportunity for the private sector. It is a responsibility because this fundamental challenge can only be addressed with a trilateral joint effort between governments, NGOs and private companies. It is an opportunity because there is an enormous entrepreneurial potential in these settlements, with young entrepreneurs who want to work hard and build a business. SOLARKIOSK fully accepts and embraces the responsibility, making available its technology-design for refugees worldwide; it seizes the opportunity as only profitable business models will make it to scale.”
 
SOLARKIOSK has deployed its technology-design, the E-HUBB, in refugee camps and humanitarian settings across Jordan and Ethiopia, expanding soon to further territories. The E-HUBB is used for a variety of different purpose (as a solar powered shop, clinic, school and community center) providing modern energy solutions to enhance the services provided by host communities and humanitarian organizations.

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Small-Scale Renewable Energy Project Award Finalist

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This year, SOLARKIOSK has been nominated for the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Project Award (under 5MW) by African Utility Week as one of five finalists. The award stands for a company or project within the sustainable energy field that provides electricity to a commercial or rural area that is without an electric infrastructure. The final announcements of the winner will take place on the 16th of May in Cape Town, South Africa.
 
Make sure to stay tuned.

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SOLARKIOSK Now A Member of The World Alliance for Efficient Solutions

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We are happy to announce that SOLARKIOSK has recently become a member of the World Alliance for Efficient Solutions which is part of the Solar Impulse Foundation. The alliance helps bring together driving forces within the field of clean technologies to form connections and relationship, in order to face the challenges of today and bring about solutions.
 
Feel free to take a look at our profile here.

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SOLARKIOSK CSMC Uplifts the Local Community in Olkiramatian

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Olkiramatian is a small village in Kenya, close to the Tanzanian border and near Lake Magadi, one of the many lakes of the Great Rift Valley. There are only around two hundred inhabitants in the village, but there is a big catchment area with thousands of people. The people are mainly Maasai who are livestock herders and live a very traditional lifestyle, but love to be connected with family and friends through their mobile phones.

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The village is about 140 kilometers from Nairobi, in a fairly remote area. Some parts of the road get flooded during the rainy seasons. Meeting trucks stuck in the mud when the rains are heavy is not uncommon. Large herds of cattle and goats sometimes block the road. A SOLARKIOSK truck goes there every two weeks to bring quality products to our E-HUBB, which is one of just a few shops in the village and the only shop that is open daily at predictable hours. At the E-HUBB, SOLARKIOSK sells local snacks (Honeycare) and daily essentials such as maize flour, cooking oil, sugar and sanitary items alongside a wide selection of solar products and fuel-efficient cooking stoves. Since there is no electricity grid in Olkiramatian, our solar products are in high demand.

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The E-HUBB has now been expanded into a connected solar market center, (a CSMC), with a restaurant, a butchery, a viewing hall, a beautiful sitting area and patio.

The inhabitants of Olkiramatian tell us they feel uplifted by the CSMC. They now have a beautiful place in the middle of the village where they can meet and chat, have a cold drink, eat local food, do some shopping, watch the news and a football match. Soon there will be a vegetable store, a pool table and other social games and a wifi hotspot for internet access.

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The people who work in the CSMC play a big role in the aspect of uplifting the community. Kelvin Lepapa is the E-HUBB operator. Dickson Sarem is a local entrepreneur who rented a space within in the CSMC to run a restaurant and a butchery. 19-year-old Charity Nosim and her colleagues, Esther Yiamat and Njeri, work as cooks, waitresses, and assistants at the restaurant. Vestus Kisiang’u is the butcher. The E-HUBB/CSMC stands out in Olkiramatian as a new level of development in the area and is highly appreciated by the local community.

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And this is just the beginning. Look out for our feature next week on Charity Nosim and her words of wisdom for SOLARKIOSK.

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SOLARKIOSK enables and empowers Middle Management starting in Rwanda

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At SOLARKIOSK we are aware that our middle management is the backbone of our network. The more our managers are empowered, the better our operations will run. As a result, we started a series of Middle Management training end of last year beginning in Rwanda.
 
We want to enable our middle managers with all the necessary skills to successfully grow into and beyond their management positions. The training aimed at strengthening management skills, which include organization skills such as setting targets, structuring team meetings, delegation, and soft skills like giving feedback and effective communication methods.
 
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A few months after the training, we asked Evans Kipkorir, Finance Manager, and Steve Gakuru, Head of Customer Finance, how the training helped them.
 
What were your 3 most important takeaways from the training?
 
Evans:
“Setting departmental goals, objectives and task prioritization using the priority matrix, which I have passed down to the entire finance team. The delegation of tasks and allowing the team members be responsible and accountable. And additionally, conducting an effective team meeting.”
 
Steve:
“The delegation of responsibilities to team members, a setting of departmental goals and objectives, conflict resolution and motivation of the team.”
 
How has the training improved your management skills?
 
Evans:
“Task prioritization skills have helped me to always be able to tackle tasks that are more urgent and important first and then followed by other tasks. Enabling me to deliver
the tasks effectively.”
 
Steve:
“One of the practical examples of how training improved my management skills is the delegation and structuring of my team. This gives everyone the clear view of their responsibilities.”
 
What changes did you implement in your team after the training?
 
Evans:
“I came up with two teams for my department, where each team leading the respective areas would be accountable and responsible for the tasks delegated to them.
This further built trust within our team and improved their time management.”
 
Steve:
“The changes I implemented in my team was for the team to always provide to me with their weekly to-do list. Where each team member has tasks to be accomplished within a given period of time. Enabling for a more efficient and less stressed work environment.”
 
What did you like about the training?
 
Evans:
“The whole training was great since it had many practical exercises that were related to the day to day activities that we encounter during our day to day work life.”
 
Steve:
“What I liked most about the training was the methodology of training. It was open to everybody to give views on certain topics and how he/she understands something, which made it more fun.
 
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SOLARKIOSK and BRCK bring access to information through technology in rural Kenya

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image002 SOLARKIOSK has recently partnered with BRCK to provide E-HUBBs in Migori county with an “Internet Café in a Box.”
 
BRCK, a Nairobi-based technology company, is working to solve the connectivity issue in East Africa and beyond, serving as the on-ramp to the Internet in traditionally underserved communities. SOLARKIOSK’s E-HUBBs provide solar energy to power the SupaBRCK system which runs the Moja WiFi hotspot and local offline content library. The off-line content library is filled with rich, contextually relevant video, audio, and text, such as daily news updates from the BBC World Service (in English and Swahili), youth employment content as well as local music videos, TV shows, and books.
 
Each E-HUBB also offers tablets to allow customers who do not have access to a smartphone to engage with the off-line content and go online using the tablet.
 
SOLARKIOSK and BRCK are excited to offer access to information that will strengthen the education and awareness of the community. This partnership will help establish the foundation for a lasting impact for Migori county.
image001 “Villagers using Moja WiFi network services at one of our E-HUBBs, where an area officer introduces them to all the different features”

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