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Lovemore Phiri, from Lilambwe village

Lovemore’s Lighting Success: From an Idle Mind, to a Solar Entrepreneur

Overcoming Industrial Challenges

Dowa district has struggled with a shortage of skills Training Centers, with only one community technical college for a population of over 772,000 (NSO, 2018). Refugees and people with disabilities have been particularly excluded from vocational education due to poverty and mobility issues.

To address these challenges, Welthungerhilfe (WHH) partnered with There Is Hope to offer vocational skills. The Light Up project was created to provide opportunities for local youth. Since inception, The Light Up project has significantly changed the lives of many youths in Dowa district. Funded by the Petra Family through WHH and implemented by There Is Hope at the Dzaleka Vocational Skills Centre, the initiative has made a notable impact, by introducing Solar Photovoltaic Installation and Maintenance course, and assisting the Plumbing Course that was already offered by TIH.


Lovemore Phiri, from Lilambwe village Solar PI Graduate from There Is Hope

Lovemore Phiri, from Lilambwe village a Solar PI Graduate from There Is Hope, installing a Solar system for client.

Lovemore Phiri’s Journey

Lovemore Phiri, from Lilambwe village, is a success story of the project. Dropping out of school due to financial constraints, Lovemore’s life changed when he trained in Solar Photovoltaic Installation through the Light Up project. Now, he is an independent and responsible adult.


Before, my family struggled daily. We are three, but my parents couldn’t always feed us,” recalls Lovemore. “After my Solar Photovoltaic Installation training, our situation improved. I can now support my parents and siblings.”

Lovemore learned about the Light Up project in 2022 through awareness initiatives. He enrolled in the Solar Photovoltaic Installation course, attracted by its marketability and environmental benefits.

“Through TIH facilitators’ campaign, I found out about the Light Up project. I chose Solar PI for its marketability and environmental benefits. Now, I have comprehensive knowledge of solar installation, both theoretical and practical,” he explains.

The Solar Photovoltaic Installation course educates and provides hands-on experience in installing photovoltaic (PV) systems. TIH, in partnership with WHH, is the first vocational training institution in the central region and the fourth in Malawi to offer this course. Lovemore and his peers were among the first graduates.

Achieving Independence

“After starting practical lessons, I did pieceworks to earn a living. The course has empowered me with skills that are helping me succeed,” says Lovemore.

Today, Lovemore is the only qualified Solar PV installer in his village, earning a living by installing solar systems for homes and businesses. The Light Up project has given vulnerable youths like Lovemore a new purpose. The Solar PI course, which began in May 2022, is fully certified by the Technical, Entrepreneurial, Vocational Education and Training Authority (TEVETA).

Lovemore is now a certified Solar system installer, able to professionally practice across Malawi. His success story showcases how vocational training and support can transform lives for both refugees at Dzaleka and host communities of Dowa.