FINCA International awarded Grant for BrightLife Program

The Foundation is pleased to announce a $30,000 grant to FINCA for their BrightLife Program.  This is the fourth year of our funding and involvement with the program since inception in 2014.

FINCA International (FINCA) is harnessing its 30 years of experience in providing access to finance to lowincome entrepreneurs to bring sustainable and scalable solutions in the energy, education, water & sanitation, agriculture and healthcare sectors to families living at the Base of the Pyramid (BoP). BrightLife was founded in 2014 to address energy poverty. With Africans suffering from the world’s lowest electrification rates, people rely on indoor fires and kerosene lamps for cooking and lighting. The resulting air pollution leads to the premature death of up to 2 million people per year, and the widespread use of kerosene lamps has been linked directly to black carbon emissions which contribute directly to global warming. Through this new work, FINCA has a unique opportunity to accelerate the achievement of a broader range of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

FINCA has a unique opportunity to accelerate the achievement of a broader range of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), through its 30-years of microfinance work and its new work in social enterprises. Financial inclusion helps create the conditions that bring many of the SDGs within reach. A strategic priority of their work is to develop the pay-as-you-go financing for products sold through BrightLife as an on-ramp to financial inclusion to BoP clients to start savings accounts and have access to other financial products at FINCA Uganda and other financial institutions. Furthermore, durable, efficient and high quality clean energy alternatives—such as solar powered lanterns and clean cook stoves—provide improved health outcomes such as reduced incidence of respiratory disease and reduced black carbon emissions. Clean energy solutions also help reduce time poverty, providing children with increased study time, decreasing time spent on collecting firewood, and enabling businesses to stay open later in the evening.

Reaching women is a priority for FINCA’s mission and for BrightLife. Nearly half of FINCA’s clients are women, who often face the steepest climb out of poverty, particularly in Africa. Affordable access to high quality, affordable, life-transforming products like solar lamps, cooking stoves, and water filtration systems, available to BoP families has the power to substantially improve the health and well-being of women and children in Uganda, as they currently suffer the greatest exposure to pollution from traditional indoor fires and contaminates. A program that helps the Women of Uganda and the planet, is a win win for all.