Zanzibar’s ‘Solar Mamas’ flip the switch on rural homes and gender roles

Fourteen year-old Nuru Sheha studies at night in the light of solar-powered LED lights at home in the village of Matemwe, on the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar. He family’s first electrical system was installed by one of Zanzibar’s 13 “solar mamas,” illiterate women trained in India to be solar power engineers. Able now to study at home for the first time, Nuru’s mother says she is doing well in school and wants to be a teacher. Since girls are expected to do house chores during daylight hours, night is the only time they can study. She’s doing well in school and dreams of becoming a math and English teacher.

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