Solar Friars

by Gerry Lynch last modified 23 Aug, 2018 04:27 PM

Christian Aid event at Hilfield Friary shows how solar power is transforming lives in Ethiopia

News of Christian Aid’s Harvest Appeal featuring stories of solar power in Ethiopia will be coming to Hilfield Friary in Dorset on 5th September.  The event will also give an opportunity to find out how solar is being used at the Friary.

This year’s Christian Aid Harvest Appeal highlights the potential to help women like Aster in Ethiopia.  Fiona Daborn, Christian Aid Regional Coordinator for Dorset, said:  “Aster was overburdened because she is a woman. Farming, cooking, carrying firewood – life was a constant struggle.

“But Aster refused to give up. She’s come together with women in her village to open a shop powered by the sun. With training from Christian Aid’s local partner, Aster and her 'sisters' have turned their shop into a thriving business.  The women are so much stronger together. They sell fresh water and soap, and provide mobile phone charging at the shop. This brings in vital money for their families, and renewable energy for their community – reducing their reliance on firewood.

Aster told us “This solar shop has been a shining light in our lives so we named it Shaka which means the morning light”

“Aster now has freedom and power over her own life. She’s able to pay for her children's healthcare, send them to school and save for her young family's future.  Women in rural communities, like Aster, work hard. But they often struggle to earn a living because of climate change and drought, while prevalent beliefs can make it hard for them to get loans or start businesses.

You can hear her solar story and how the Harvest 2018 Appeal gives everyone the opportunity to #StandTogether with women like Aster and enable them to improve their lives.”

The event is free and welcome to all, from 10 am on Wednesday 5 September at Hilfield Friary, DT2 7BE. It will start with the Christian Aid harvest presentation, followed at 11 am by the solar tour and Autumn trail with Brother Hugh and then a chapel service at 12 pm, after which all are welcome to bring a packed lunch and stay on to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere at the Friary.

Please book your place at the event with Christian Aid on 023 8070 6969.

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