Save our Energy Kiosks in Malawi!

by International Resources and Recycling Institute

About the project


Tipping Point £2,950
Get set £5,150
Go! £10,000
tipping point
In-kind donations range from drinks to office supplies. We even accept homemade cakes. See what else we need!
tipping point
25 hrs
In-kind donations range from drinks to office supplies. We even accept homemade cakes. See what else we need!

More about the project

What is the social/environmental problem/issue that this project will address?

It will address energy poverty in rural Malawi, which impacts many different aspects of people’s lives. As there is no electricity, people depend on unhealthy, unsustainable and expensive sources of energy like paraffin, biomass, candles and one-way battery torches for cooking and lighting. Smoke from paraffin lamps and indoor cooking is known to cause serious health issues and studying or working after dark with just a dim light is very difficult.

For charging their phones, people in Malawi often cover very long distances costing them valuable time that could otherwise be spent in productive ways. It is often the children who are sent to do this, which is causing additional health risks and takes their time otherwise available for playing and studying.

Can you give us some statistics on this problem?

While the official national electrification rate in Malawi is at 10%, only 1 in 100 households in the rural areas (where 85% of our population live) has access to electricity.

It has been shown in studies that poor people, especially women and children are over-proportionally affected by the lack of sustainable energy. Poor households in Malawi spend up to 30% of the little income they have on basic energy sources, again and again. Most of this money can easily be saved for the things people are struggling with the most, like food, school fees and health costs, if they can be empowered to access long-lasting, quality clean energy devices at an affordable initial investment.

Communication is quickly gaining importance here just as everywhere else in the world. As of now, about 40% of Malawians own a mobile phone with that ratio continuously increasing. Mobile phones increase business activity, information, and are used as cheap radios, music players and torches. Since the rural population of Malawi makes up the great majority of the country, this means that it is not only city people who use mobile phones. In the rural areas people cover many kilometres either by bike or walking simply to charge their phones. 

What is your solution?

The community-based Energy Kiosks bring electricity and energy solutions to places far off the national power grid in a self-managed way that is owned by the community through their local entrepreneurs or committees. They create awareness, access, and enhance affordability of clean and more sustainable energy solutions for families. The Kiosks use solar power to charge energy devices like lights that are rented out or sold on pay-as-you-go basis and offer other energy-dependent services, which cannot be accessed normally by the people. This way, everybody in the community can get access to healthy and clean energy while saving money. Apart from financial advantages, the kiosk also allows people to save time by providing a phone charging service so that they don’t have to cover several kilometres to reach a place with a grid connection.

How will you deliver this?

The two Kiosks started their operations in the beginning of 2013. They are run by a team of managers and overlooked by a committee of 12 members of the community holding meetings on a regular basis. They are supported by the expertise of the team of Renew’N’Able Malawi who pay regular visits to see how the Kiosks are doing and where help is needed. The turnaround strategy was developed in close cooperation with both the managers and the committee members, who know best what their community needs and how the Kiosk can deliver this.

All the money raised will go directly to Renew’N’Able Malawi who will deliver the above named goals with the communities.



Get involved

Here are some great ways to get involved with the project and help out. If you have...
  • 2 minutes
    Spread the word and help us raise money for saving the energy kiosks
  • Regular time commitment
    Get in touch with for volunteering opportunities at Renew’N’Able Malawi ranging from fundraising, website design or getting involved in one of our projects if you can make it to Malawi.

Share your comments

Opinions and comments mentioned on the FundIt.Buzz website are the personal views of individual contributors. FundIt.Buzz takes no responsibility for these views. However if you find something that you think does not meet our guidelines you can report it to

What do you think?

You need to be logged in in order to post comments

About the organisation

Vision and mission

IRRI has been in existence since 2004 and our vision is to help reduce poverty, manage resource use and work with local communities to help themselves in a sustainable way. Renew’N’Able Malawi (RENAMA) has been our local partner in Malawi since 2012 and without the drive and commitment of the team and of the local communities we would not have been able to get the Kiosk project up and running.

Geographical coverage


Our track record

IRRI has significant experience in project managing and delivering renewable energy and community projects in a range of countries. We have a dedicated team who are based in Scotland however we work closely with our colleagues from RENAMA in Malawi on a regular basis.

Who do we help?

IRRI is all about helping the people and the communities where the people live. We are strong believers in community engagement and empowerment and IRRI acts as an enabler to help the communities reach their goals and achieve their dreams.

How do we deliver this?

IRRI firmly believes in listening to the needs and wants of the communities for whom they serve. This is critical to understand the key issues and challenges as it enables a clear understanding of the needs of the local communities. Thereafter, IRRI works hand in hand with the community to mentor, develop and capacity build, at all times ensuring that the communities have true ownership of their projects.

Awards And Recognitions

IRRI is a well-established Lead Partner in Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme projects and are part of the team who delivers the Scottish Government Water Innovation Service.