Charity Njeri Gachanja, is living her dream of contributing to environmental conservation and women’s health in central Kenya and beyond, through the provision of clean, and affordable energy saving jikos.
She was motivated by her mother, who tirelessly worked with Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai at the Green Belt Movement, to plant trees and educate women on the importance of conserving their environment. Her mother also made cooking pots out of clay, and this is where she got her inspiration, diversifying to cookstove liners.
According to a baseline study done in Kahuro, by the wPOWER Hub, more than 50%of the population,uses fuel wood as the main source of energy for cooking, while 32%use kerosene.Only 22% are using energy saving jikos.
“Our women need to be told the importance of clean cookstoves, that it benefits both the environment and themselves, I have literally moved from nothing to something, thanks to my jiko business’’ said Charity who grew up in Kiria, Muranga County. Charity started her entrepreneurial journey from an empowerment training seminar similar to the ongoing wPOWER Hub community trainings on sustainable clean energy.
She started by distributing two liners to each village in her community, at no cost.
Today, Charity sells 1,000 liners monthly out of which she reports making more than $800.”I discovered that it was a lucrative venture and I’ve never looked back,” she said