UNOPS promotes productive use of Energy, supporting people with disabilities in rural Sierra Leone
17 May 2022
In 2020 UNOPS Sierra Leone awarded DMAD with a grant of $15,948 to support renewable energy productive use activities.
Dembelia Musaia Disabled Association (DMAD) is an association formed by people with disabilities from the Dembelia and Musaia chiefdoms in the Koinadugu district, Sierra Leone. In 2020 UNOPS Sierra Leone awarded DMAD with a grant of $15,948 to support renewable energy productive use activities, specifically targeting persons with disabilities, women-led businesses, youth groups, and farmer groups. The grant was part of the Rural Renewable Energy Project, funded by UKAid. With the award and their own co-contribution of $4,954 in-kind and cash, DMAD rented a new premise where the association set up a second fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) shop, restaurant, and small business hub where basic computing and printing services are provided. All of the group’s businesses are supported by solar energy from the Musaia Minigrid site in the Koinadugu district.
At UNOPS, successful stores like DMAD not only motivate us to continue our work but inspire us in fulfilling our mission to help people build better lives through our projects in Sierra Leone. Supporting DMAD through productive use of energy to gain financial independence for themselves and their families while contributing to local economic development and employment fuels the work we do at UNOPS Sierra Leone.
Speaking to Mr Jawara, one can't help but feel the pride that he exudes when speaking about his and the association's current standing in the community. This grant has not only brought them financial benefits but has also fast-tracked their integration into the community; a benefit that is priceless given the challenges faced by persons with disabilities in Sierra Leone. The independence and self-reliance that it has given the group members and the association is a source of immense pride for Mr Jawara, being in a position to help and advocate for persons with disabilities in his community is one that he takes with great pride. “Having the ability to feed your family without begging is a great feeling,” he said.