Watch our new film for World Energy Day, which highlights how local renewable energy heroes like Josephat Mang’eni are helping people in their local communities afford a better life.
Josephat comes from Sidonge, a rural community in Kenya. When he was a child, kerosene lamps were his community’s only source of light as they waited and waited for the electricity grid to reach them.
Nine years ago, Josephat came back from college to find things had changed. RVE.SOL, a solar company, had installed a mini-grid in the village. After his house was connected, Josephat became so passionate about the mini-grid that he started working for the company. He is now their most outstanding agent and manages 11 agents and 11 mini-grids.
Speaking of the impact the mini-grid has had in his own community, he says: “Sidonge is marching forward and, in my family, it has brought more good. My daughter will grow up in light.”
Investing in social change
The IKEA Foundation partners with Acumen, a non-profit fund that drives social change through strategic and long-term investment. Acumen provides early-stage capital to entrepreneurs like RVE.SOL, that are tackling poverty through pioneering solutions.
Josephat says: “We saw a transforming community because everybody is embracing the project. I’m seeing the disposable income in people’s pockets because they have extended hours of doing businesses. We have also built a library that’s connected to the power.”
Since power came to Sidonge in 2011, families with a predictable income have increased by 500%. Average grades at the Sidonge Primary School have increased by 45% because children can study into the night.
Productive use of energy
Jolanda van Ginkel, IKEA Foundation Programme Manager for Renewable Energy, says: “In this film, we want to champion renewable energy heroes like Josephat. Now, more than ever, it’s vital that we support their work by advocating for productive use of renewable energy to power our livelihoods, education systems and healthcare facilities.
“We’re proud to produce this film that highlights the important work Josephat and organisations like RVE.SOL are doing, supported by our partner Acumen.”
Leslie Labruto, Head of Global Energy at Acumen, says: “We believe it’s crucial to share the stories of companies like RVE.SOL and local leaders like Josephat, because they show us first-hand how we can scale bigger and bolder businesses—for people and the planet. This impact is only possible through our partnership with the IKEA Foundation.”
On World Energy Day, let us champion renewable energy heroes in our communities.