Light and health: Margaret's Story

November 12, 2015

Margaret is a nurse and owns her own little pharmacy in Uganda. Her home and pharmacy are lit up with solar lights.

She puts one solar light outside her door, another in her pharmacy, and a third in the adjoining room, which is her home.

“It helps me because now, I don’t buy paraffin… Candles I don’t buy it. And even matchboxes, I don’t buy!” she explains, smiling.

Margaret with her children.

Because she no longer needs to worry about saving the costs of candles, paraffin, and matches, she says, she’s able to stay open later at night, after it gets dark. The bulb above the door lights the way to her shop for her customers at the end of the day. This benefits her business and her customers, who are able to come by after they’ve finished their work, making health care easier to access.

In the course of the day, she doles out medicine for colds and flu, she gets a visit for vitamins from a new mother, and one of the older members of the community come in for a check-up. And once in a while, someone will stop by simply to ask about the solar light.

Customers say this place of mine is so bright! They also say: Nurse, I want this kind like yours! 

“When my customers come here, they say this place of mine is so bright! And most of the people like it. They also say: nurse, I want this kind like yours! Because it is very bright.”

And so Margaret has taken to working as a Solar Sister entrepreneur alongside her work in the pharmacy, earning an extra income and making solar lights available to her community.