The Imagine Burundi-Terimbere Foundation has a creative approach to distributing Little Sun solar-powered lamps in Burundian off-grid communities. In May 2013, the foundation established the Imagine Shop in Bujumbura, which sells Little Sun lamps as well as locally made handicrafts such as baskets, woven baskets, bags, children’s school backpacks, jewelry, toys, or hand-carved masks. Working with local women’s groups, the foundation teaches women how to make these handicrafts and helps them sell them in the store to earn income in an area where jobs are scarce.
Their mission is
“to provide the right skills to poor families so they through commerce can establish a future and fight against poverty and gender-based violence for the wellbeing of the community and Burundi.”
Imagine Burundi-Terimbere is also piloting a distribution program that trains women to sell Little Sun lamps in rural areas, working with door-to-door sales networks and VSLA groups.
“From our pilot testing with Little Sun in the poor areas of the capital Bujumbura and in rural areas, we learned that the combination of local kiosks with a door-to-door sales approach is best for selling lamps. Our plan is now to scale this method and train new women sales agents in the northern regions of Cibitoke and Bubanza, providing them with lamps and the support they need to profit.”